Welcome to Following the Whispers blog

Thank you so much for taking the time to visit. Hope you enjoy your stay. I blog here whenever I feel the need. This blog was created at the time my memoir came out, in February, 2009. Its motto was: creating a life of inner peace and self-acceptance from the depths of despair. Now, my focus is sharing this journey we call life.

“Only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth, and that is not speaking it.” Naomi Wolf

“We are called human beings, not human doings.” Wes Nisker, Buddhist teacher

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs…(And) if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.” Theodore Roosevelt

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Telling the Truth Tuesday - Letting Go Part III

I love the comments this series on letting go has been getting. Nice to know I'm not alone in navigating the world of emotions/feelings. Marvin Wilson, our lovable old silly, offered wonderful advice for when it is okay to tell little white lies and when it is necessary to speak our truth. I concur.

To bring this discussion to some sort of closure, I want to focus on how to let go of emotions that aren't healthy like anger, resentment, jealousy, envy. I'm still discovering how to do this, so we're going to explore this together.

Growing up, I never felt anger. Or if I did, it was unconscious. Instead, I'd feel hurt, and if the hurt was deep enough, it would become depression. A therapist once said depression is anger turned inward. It is a good clue for me. If I start to feel depressed, I look back at events, conversations to see where I might have felt anger but repressed the emotion instead.

Resentment ususally comes when I'm not taking good enough care of myself. When I over-extend my energy, over-commit, or just plain don't do the things I need to do on a daily basis: walk, prayer/meditation, arm exercises, practice singing, and write/market. On a given day, I can miss one of these things and it will be okay, but if more than one gets left out, I start to feel off kilter and will resent anything I have to do for anyone else.

Jealousy is tougher. It takes self-examination and logical thinking to work through it. It is unrealistic for me to expect to have the body of a 20-year-old. But I can have a healthy 60-year-old body. If I'm jealous of another female and how she looks, I have to ask myself if I'm doing all that I can to feel good about myself in that area. For example, I hate wearing make-up, but if that's what it takes to feel better about myself, am I willing to do it. If the answer is no, as it usually is, than I have to accept my appearance as is and let go of the jealousy.

Being envious of writers who have succeeded in ways I haven't is even harder. I tried everything I knew to get an agent and be published traditionally. It didn't work. I have to accept that. I do believe things happen the way they are supposed to. This is my path. It is the way my book was meant to go out into the world. When and if I complete the next book, I will try again the traditional way. And work on letting go of the results.

Whether or not I divulge my true feelings to others must be decided on a moment to moment basis. Usually it is fear of rejection that keeps me from speaking my truth. But the older I get, the harder it is to keep my truth from spilling out of my mouth, and the less I want to keep it hidden. I just have to learn to choose my words more carefully. I can give myself a time-out before I speak, to make sure what and how I am communicating is conveying my intention.

This subject has deep roots that spread far and wide, like an ancient tree. I'm sure it will surface again, but for now, I'm going to let it be. Thank you all for sticking with me and sharing your thoughts and feelings. I learn much from each of you.



Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

I learn a lot from you, too!

There's nothing wrong with publishing a book non-traditionally. I have many writer friends who've gone that route, reached a ton of readers, and have won industry awards for their work. It's a whole new world out there for publishing.


Tabitha Bird said...

Well, I like that you and truth seem to have met before :)And I as for your book, I agree that is was birthed the way it was meant to be birthed. I am also learning to let go of things I cannot control. How long that path seems to be :)

Jane Kennedy Sutton said...

I also believe things happen the way they are supposed to - although sometimes it's harder if not impossible to understand the why part.

Helen Ginger said...

I can so identify with you. And I wonder if a lot of women feel this way. Is it an almost universal undercurrent of being female? A product of how we're taught to behave? And why does it take so long to break loose? And why is it so difficult to look inside, see the cracks, and make changes?

Straight From Hel

Patricia Stoltey said...

Those of you who have bravely self-published need to think of yourselves as pioneers, forging a new path around the big literary agencies and publishing houses. With the growth of small and medium-sized traditional publishers and self-pub companies offering excellent services, we all have more opportunities. We learn from your experience.

And FYI, Karen, I still don't have an agent, although, like you, I will try again when I finish my current novel project.

The Old Silly said...

This is a great series of posts on a much needed topic to discuss. I especially appreciated this-

"Usually it is fear of rejection that keeps me from speaking my truth."

Amen - I think that's behind a great deal of people's reticence to say the truth.

And also this-

"But the older I get, the harder it is to keep my truth from spilling out of my mouth, and the less I want to keep it hidden."

Good for you, and I agree it does seem to come easier with age. I mean, life is too short to pretend, right? Hey thanks for the shout out, too. Really enjoy this interchange here - LOTS of good contributions!

Marvin D Wilson

Galen Kindley--Author said...

I'm gonna echo Patricia's comments. I couldn't say it better. She stole my thunder. Pioneers. Yep, that's about right.


Anonymous said...

Learning to let go, especially soul ties, are difficult to do. My wife and I have had to let go of a lot of people over the years and move on. Its not always easy, but sometimes you just need to move in another direction and realize, yeah, sometimes the grass is indeed greener on the other side.

Stephen Tremp

Donna M. Kohlstrom said...

Were you inside my head and heart today? You must have been because you wrote all about me! Thank you for affirming the positives and making the negatives clearer. At 63 years old, with a life that has been like an on going soap opera, I still deal with the issues that you wrote about. I often feel alone and wonder if anyone else can begin to understand how I feel. You nailed it on the head! Thanks!