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

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A-Z Challenge: W - Willingness

When I was 28 years old, I lost custody of my only child, who was 4 years old at the time. I was catapulted into a deep depression, filled with despair. I began keeping a journal, pouring my heart and soul onto those pages. It became a therapeutic tool for healing, one of many I would find along the way. But underlying all the tools, programs, books, things I did to heal, there needed to be an attitude - a willingness to do whatever it took to get me where I wanted to get to. That willingness has enabled me to accomplish so many things I never thought possible - going back to school at 52 to get my college degree and graduating Summa cum Laude. Writing and publishing my memoir. Starting a singing group, Sugartime, and getting good enough to perform at certain venues around town. Losing 50 pounds and maintaining that weight loss. Finding a loving husband (it took me several tries, but we've now been together 15 years and grow happier together each day).

Are you willing to do whatever it takes for you to achieve inner peace and those things that will fulfill you?


Ellen Brickley said...

Hell yes, Karen :) This last year has been all about difficult decisions for me, and I've learned so much. Emotional paralysis may look easy but it really isn't in the long run.

Paul Anthony Shortt said...

Yes, yes I am. I've made myself a very different person to who I was even 5 years ago.

Odie Langley said...

December of 08 was my rock bottom and June of last year I started this blog of mine and have been helped along the way by my blog family in ways the real world never has. I have that willingness and I will make it.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Yes! And you've come a long way Karen.

welcome to my world of poetry said...

You have done well Karen and I applaud you.


Joanne said...

You bet. Those determined efforts are what give life meaning, and make our days fulfilling.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Karen .. good for you realising your willingness to just be .. and do what you wanted to do .. congratulations .. excellent news and long may it all last .. cheers Hilary

Angela Felsted said...

I don't know. I hope so.

Karen Walker said...

Ellen, good for you. And so true about emotional paralysis.
Paul, that's so great!
Odie, so happy you found support here in bloggydom
Alex, yeah, I have - thanks.
Yvonne, ditto right back at ya!
Joanne, you are so right
Hilary, yes, willingness is key for me
Angela, I bet you are!

Pixiebaby said...

Woohoo Karen! Great post. You've done so much, and I'm happy that you were willing to do what you had to do to get to a good place. Inspiring. Yes, I'm definitely willing and have been making some progress. It's a great, liberating feeling. :)

baygirl32 said...

I went back to school at 31, quit my job and dove into a field completely foreign, two years prior to that husband, kiddo and I left all our family and friends to move 1/2 way across the country, change scares me, but I opt to embrace it

Love your post

Ann said...

Willingness is half the battle...Wonderful post Karen. My life or rather my sense of self-worth changed once I was willing to accept my children flying away to create their own lives. Then I found the willingness to start a blog and put myself out there...and from there have met this wonderful supportive community.

Helen Ginger said...

I think willingness is important, but more important is commitment and stick-to-it-ness. I'm finding the older I get, the more at peace I am.

Karen Walker said...

Pixiebaby, good for you.
Babygirl32, wow, that's a lot
Ann, yeah for empty nest energy
Helen, you are absolutely right. After willingness comes working hard at it

Bish Denham said...

An excellent word choice. Willingness is being open to possibility, to change. And life is all about change. If we cannot accept change then life becomes a battle rather than something to enjoy. One must be willing to change.

Jules said...

Yes I am. And what an inspirational willingness you have. Nice "W" post :)
Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

Joyce Lansky said...

Oh, Karen! My husband and I like to joke about how a divorce would have lead to a reverse custody battle (you take the kids, no you), so we'll just stay married; but in reality, I can't imagine anything more devastating than losing a child. I'm glad you've come so far and hope that your son reads this post in order to know how much he means to you. May God continue to bless you.


Odie Langley said...

Just a note to say I went to Amazon & bought one of your books to read.

Karen Walker said...

Bish, I so agree.
Jules, thanks. Glad you are, too.
Joyce, I don't think there is anything more devastating. Thanks, my son and I have a great relationship now, thank goodness.
Odie, I am so very honored and touched. Thank you!

welcome to my world of poetry said...

Thanks for the glowing comment,


Lauracea said...

Good for you, Karen. That's very brave of you and you're a great example to us all.

Plain Jane said...

Sometimes, when I read posts like this I wonder how I would have reacted to such troubling times.

Laura Eno said...

You've brought me to tears - of pain, joy, and resonance.

Jennifer Shirk said...

Wow, you are an inspiration. I'm so touched to hear how you were able to strive forward and accomplish so much.

Julie said...

I so admire you for all you have done and accomplished. Your posts are always an inspiration!

Monti said...

Wonderful to read about your success. How difficult to lose custody of your child!

Good luck. Nice to meet you on A to Z.


Susan Flett Swiderski said...

Yes, absolutely yes. We can't pull on our mitts and sit back on our haunches and simply catch whatever life wants to throw at us. Sometimes, we have to stand up and be willing to throw some pitches of our own.

Karen Walker said...

Yvonne, you deserve it!
Sue, thanks so much
Plain Jane, I think it's impossible to know how we will react until we're faced with things.
Laura, thank you.
Jennifer, it's why I write about this crap, er, stuff.
Julie, ditto
Monti,it nearly did me in!
Susan, yes, yes, yes, willingness...

Arlee Bird said...

You've been through a heck of a lot, but your willingness to get past the hurt and through the ordeals has brought you where you are and given you the legitimacy to help others get through their own dark times. I've always had a willingness to achieve, but I could have done better. But I'm where I'm supposed to be I guess.

Tossing It Out

K.C. Woolf said...

Willingness and willpower: such powerful words.

You are an amazing woman, and even more so for sharing your stories!

Manzanita said...

I missed this one and all I can say is WOW. You've come a long way, baby. As the song goes. Your life is inspirational for young girls and women of all ages. You go, girl.

Elayne said...

Very inspiring post Karen. I too have been on a similar journey of willingness to try things I never thought possible. Happy to meet you through the A-Z challenge!

Sharon - coping with a loss said...

Willingness is half the battle, isn't it? It sounds like you have accomplished much and I'm sure much more is on the horizon.

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