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, November 5, 2013

Telling the Truth Tuesday: what if?

Trying to live in the here and now, being fully present in each moment is challenging for everyone, I think, not just me. We get so caught up on what ifs. For writers, it's what if I don't finish this manuscript. What if I finish it and it never gets published. What if it's terrible. What if it's fabulous. And on and on.

In our lives, the what ifs are even more difficult. What if my child or spouse gets sick. What if I lose my job or my home. What if there's a nuclear war. What if a hurricane or tornado or fire wipes out everything.

As I get older, some of my what ifs have come true. What happens when I can't do such and such. Right now I can't sing. And singing is a huge part of fulfilling my soul's needs. I am learning that rather than wallow in self-pity, I must accept that bad things are going to happen. And, as Tonja commented in my last post, it's not my fault. It's how I deal with those things that makes all the difference. And acceptance is key. One of my favorite lines from a book, The Road Less Traveled, by M. Scott Peck, is the very first line.  I don't remember the exact quote, but it said life is difficult and when you accept that, it gets easier.

So, I'm trying to let go of my what ifs and be as present in my body as I can each an every moment.

How about you?


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

So, life sucks, and when you accept that, it doesn't suck as bad?
I'm sure it wasn't worded that way!
It's not what happens to us, it's how we react to it.

Rachel Schieffelbein said...

I'm sorry to hear you aren't able to sing right now. Hopefully you can find other things to make your soul happy. :)

Julie Flanders said...

I'm so sorry that you're not able to sing right now. What a shame. A loss for you and the people who had the pleasure of listening to your group.

I hope you are able to let go of those what ifs, I know it can be easier said than done. Sounds like you are on the right track.

Karen Walker said...

Alex, I think what the author meant is to manage expectations - if we expect everything to work out well all the time, we're bound to be disappointed.
Rachel, thanks, I'm hopeful we'll figure out what's wrong with my throat soon.
Julie, thank you - I'm working on the what ifs.

Optimistic Existentialist said...

I read somewhere once that "what ifs" can drive us crazy - it's a no-win thought since there's no way to know how the what-ifs would have turned out. But it's easier said than done isn't it?

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Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Karen - gosh I'm sorry you're not able to sing, as I know that's a major enjoyment for you - look after yourself and take care. I hope all will be well.

However I love the way you look at life - it's getting the best out of what we can do that matters in the end - rather than oh I wish I'd done that or that, or could still do that - sadly life catches up with us ...

With thoughts and enjoy those moments we can all still appreciate ... Hilary

Donna Hosie said...

Turn what if into a positive. The only things you'll regret are the things you never attempted, so ask what if I don't do ***** - that might make you more confident.

Here's hoping you can start singing again soon. Oh to be able to sing. That is a true gift.

Sharon Lippincott said...

What if you DO finish your manuscript? That's a more exciting, colorful question.

Singing. A few years ago I attended a conference and made it through my presentation in spite of incipient laryngitis. The concluding speaker at the final luncheon the following day spoke of Hildegard of Bingen and had us do some of the chants and songs. I was unable to utter a sound, but didn't want to miss out. I mouthed the words, without trying to sing. My vocal cords formed the sounds, but I didn't force it. Gradually, I dared to whisper the sounds, gradually allowing a wee bit more air to flow. Within the hour, I had fully recovered my voice, and it remained intact, though the virus still afflicted me in other respects.

Miraculous? Maybe. Why did I not buy that CD?!

If you have some simple chants, especially with a tape or YouTube video you can lipsync with, you might give this a try. But don't hurt your voice in the process!

Karen Walker said...

Optimistic, it sure is.
Hilary you are such a dear!
Donna, I love this. Thank you.
Sharon, will do. Thanks

BECKY said...

Hi Karen! I'm sad, too, that you can't sing right now. I love to sing, although I'm very bad at it! :) I'm the "sing with the radio or CD" kind of singer. I used to worry about what-ifs, and I'm not sure why I don't anymore....partially because I'm older, I'm sure, but also somewhere along the way, I learned to "go with the flow." I've had times of sorrow, and fear, too of course...but fortunately I somehow got through it. Sending you happy wishes!