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, May 4, 2010

Telling the Truth Tuesday - mom

Sometimes I wonder if I'll ever be done processing stuff from childhood. I'm not complaining, mind you. I wouldn't have gotten to where I am today without  having sorted out, worked through, dissected, and therapied myself to pieces. And yet there seems to be more.

Last week I had a setback after our birthday concert at my home. All these negative voices kept shouting in my ear. Here's the wisdom that came through as I looked at those voices:

There are pieces you are still missing from your childhood. Your mother said and did things that your former singing teacher embodied for you and gave voice to. Things like, "You don't belong, you never belonged, you can't do harmony. You have pitch problems. You're flat. Your own mother lied to you about you, about who you are, what you could do or not do, what life is about. She didn't know any better. She did what was done to her. And a teacher who says such damaging things to a student should be stopped.

You have to sort out the truth of the issue for yourself. Stop saying you don't have a good voice. That's not the issue. Figure out the real reason you are so compelled to sing in public and work from that. It's not about your voice and how good it is.

Why do you want to perform? As a child, you gloried in being the center of attention - until the Painter molested you when you were just 7 years old. That attention brought you trouble. Now the attention brings joy to elders. it can no longer bring you harm. Your mother is no longer alive to judge you and freeze you out. Your former singing teacher is no longer in the picture. The other Sugartimes adore you. So do your friends.

Singing is shouting to the world: I am here. Look at me. Listen to me. Pay attention. I have something to say. Something to give to you. A little piece of me. It's the same with writing. It's spiritual for you, Karen. It's not about performing. This is your ministry. The writing and Sugartime. You need to fully embrace who you really are.

I was silenced as a child. This is my time. These are my words.
What are yours?



MissV said...

I just feel like giving you a (((HUG))) and telling you to keep right on singing if it makes you happy!

My words? They're still bubbling up, haven't made a whole lot of sense out of them yet.

Cyndi said...

My words come out when I feel compelled to write. You are so right about those parental voices. We learned them and locked them away and stopped questioning them years ago. Just like 1+1=2. But you did question them and re-frame your own new voices but sometimes they creep back in. They have been there our whole lives and they are stubborn. Good for you for recognizing them and keep on singing (and writing of course)! :)

Mason Canyon said...

This is your time and you should be heard, never forgot that.

Thoughts in Progress

Maribeth said...

Thank you! What you wrote today came at just the right time to guide me through a really tough situation.
God bless!

Joanne said...

I really like the way you are "owning" your life right now. And those are my words, which my daughters toss my way whenever I have a doubt or insecurity about something ... "Own it, Mom." It's amazing how strong those words are.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

With a music teacher like that, who needs enemies?
Choose to ignore that voice, Karen!

Ann said...

Keep singing Karen. It is a pity how many teachers are out there quelling the enthusiasm, creativity and talent of the child.

Elspeth Antonelli said...

Your inner strength humbles me. Listen to your inner voice, Karen and allow your outer voice to dang-well sing if it wants to!

Helen Ginger said...

Singing is your voice. I also think blogging here is your voice. You open eyes and ears and thoughts. Thank you.

Straight From Hel

Jen Chandler said...

Hi Karen.
I love this post. You're right. Singing is shouting. I haven't sung in a while, I had to separate myself from it to see if it was something I really desired or if I was just doing it because everyone expected me to. But now, I understand that I DO enjoy it, just not in the capacity everyone else thinks I should. We have to make choices for ourselves and be strong enough to stand up for them. You've got such courage and I admire that.

Sorry to hear you have bronchitis! I hope you get to feeling better soon.


Jemi Fraser said...

Great motivational post! I love that you've found your voice and you're courageous enough to battle those inner demons - those voices from the past. You're strong and admirable Karen - keep striving to be your best!

Anonymous said...

I wasn't silenced as a kid, although I was a silent kid. But now as a writer this semi-introvert can blow loud and hard. Kudos to you. Let loose. better out than in I always say.

Stephen Tremp