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

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Making a Difference

All I ever wanted to do was matter to someone. As a small child, I wanted to feel like I belonged somewhere. I felt like an alien in my own family, thinking I must have been adopted because I was so different than my parents. As a teenager, I wanted a boy to love me. Mistakenly, I thought having sex with them would make that happen. Then, when I married and had a child, I thought, now I matter to someone. I’m a wife, a mother. But it wasn’t meant to be. At least not in those relationships.

Until very recently, I didn’t believe I mattered to anyone. That I could die tomorrow, and it wouldn’t make a difference to the people in my life. My hubby would just carry on as he did before I entered his life. He’d done just fine. My friends would just continue their other friendships without even a blip on the radar that I existed.

On my good days, which number way more than the bad ones now, I know I matter. Not because of anything I do, but because I am. But when someone actually tells you you made a difference in their life, there is nothing that comes close in terms of spiritual contentment. Last Saturday, one rather old woman took my hands in hers as I made the rounds thanking people after singing, looked into my eyes and said, “You made my day today. Thank you for coming and singing for us.”

And she didn’t mean because I sang well or that she liked the particular songs we sang. It was because I connected with them while I was singing. It was as if my heart shot out silver strings, touching their hearts. I could feel it. Not everyone will feel that kind of connection. But when someone does, and recognizes it, and then shares that recognition with me, it makes not just my day, but my world. It is what I want more than anything. To feel as if I am making a difference in peoples’ lives.

I want you all to know that the comments you leave here on this blog touch me in similar ways. Each of you is making a difference in my life. And for that I am so very grateful.



Cyndi said...

Funny, I thought I must have been adopted too. In fact, I wished I were.

That's a lovely story about the lady whose day you made! And you make a difference here on your blog too.

Mason Canyon said...

A touching story about the lady you sang for. Sometimes a kind word can come from out of the blue when we least expect it and it makes all the difference in the world.

Your blog has touched my life and you in turn have as well. You've helped me remember to appreciate each day for what it holds, not what I think it should. Thanks for being a friend.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

You matter to me!

I think that is the drive of every person on earth - to know they meant something, that their life mattered and wasn't a waste.

Joanne said...

The thing is, Karen, those silver strings happen here, too, on all your blog posts. You have a clear, honest insight that sings to your readers as well :)

Crystal Clear Proofing said...

Karen, I simply adore you. I truly mean that. I love your blog and what you write about. YOU touch me through every heartfelt and bare-your-soulpost you write.

I once heard that there is no sweeter music to one's ears than hearing their own name. Couple that with the connection you refer to when someone touches your heart or you touch theirs. It's a warm fuzzy to the very depth of your being.

It's those snippets in time, those special moments that have so much meaning. They tug at your heartstrings and you can almost feel the hug that God is giving you at that moment.

Karen Walker said...

Each of you made me cry. Thank you so much.

Elspeth Antonelli said...

I actually WAS adopted - and it wasn't the not looking like part that bothered me (in fact, I do look rather similar) but the completely different way of thinking. I was always very arts- oriented - my parents are very NOT. When I got my first role in a professional theatre company at age 16, my mother cautioned me it didn't mean anything and to not contemplate a career in the theatre. They never came to see the show. Ah well.

Karen, you touch people every day - either in life, or through this blog. Your honesty astounds me. I admire you more than I can say.

Helen Ginger said...

I love coming to your blog. Every day you touch me and amaze me. You are so open and sharing. I'm so glad your life is happy now. Doesn't mean there are trying times, but I can feel the warmth and peace in your words.

Straight From Hel

Ann said...

I too thought I was adopted when I was a child. Funny we have that in common. I had read a book called Ginger that sparked the idea.

I am glad you have finally come to realize that you touch people lives and have found a sense of contentment in yourself. Though people may not reiterate it often enough you do touch people and everyday. Take care.

The Old Silly said...

Reading your memoir right now, so this post really hits me hard. You know why. But in a good way, as I know how you've grown and overcome from the little girl and young woman I'm reading about.

Marvin D Wilson

Patricia Stoltey said...

You've definitely become an important part of my life, Karen. I'm so glad you're here and that you let me drop by for a visit from time to time.

Sharon Lippincott said...

Perhaps we are collectively learning the importance of telling people they matter and touch us. I am a late-comer to this table. Who knew that extending appreciation is a two way street? Certainly not my parents! I am so grateful that I learned late -- so much better than never learning at all.

I appreciate you Karen. You are a master of touching lives, and a shining example. I also appreciate all the loving spirits who comment so regularly on your blog. Thank you all.