Shut up, My heart is talking.

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So, I was told recently by a friend, to ROAR. Not about writing- just in life, and when it really counts. She told me not just that I should, but that I must. Also recently, while moseying around some writer’s blogs, I read an article about the question of whether its better to write a few really important words; or many, maybe not-so-important words for the sake of well- just being heard. Both the article  and my friend have sparked an interesting question I’ve since been asking myself. What am I really trying to say? And is it genuine? Is it the truth? What am I afraid of if I speak my truth? It seems to me, that what I am supposed to be learning from these messages I’m receiving, and sharing with you is: How do we speak our heart’s truth, without fear?

This may come in the form of writing, speaking, parenting, challenging, trying, or just living. I have a voice, we all do. The question is do we use it? When it counts do we use it? When it matters most, or even when it matters little, do we sit back and hide it? Filter it? Polish it? Do we change it to suit others? Do we worry how our message [heart] will be received? If yes, then how does it continue to be ours, authentically, at that point? And what’s really the point of having a heart worthy of something to share if its never allowed to show up in our lives honestly and with unfiltered truth?

I know, deep stuff. Maybe too much on a Saturday morning. I just want to be unafraid. I want to embrace the voice in my heart and let it speak. I have it, its mine. I didn’t just find it, because it wasn’t lost- its been right here with me all along. (Hello random Wizard of Oz reference.) Though sometimes it feels like I have found it after discarding it for a while, shoving it in a dark corner when I am not ready to listen to it, let alone let others listen. The problem perhaps with being truthful and sharing our real voice is we fear it will be shut down, taunted, hushed, or worse: ignored. In my heart’s voice are all of my experiences, both personally and lived through. There is hurt, abuse, infidelity, addiction, mental illness, fear. There is also strength, joy, humor, love, achievement, and gratitude. Life is not all bad. No, it is as beautiful as we see it to be. That’s simply choosing to see the good, even when the bad clouds your view. I digress. Different post for a different time. Back to letting our hearts speak freely.

My voice has many stories. Yes. As a Parent, a Mother, I feel like I have earned the right after thirteen years to share that part of my heart’s voice with mostly confidence. I don’t know everything, who does? But I know what has worked for me through trial and lots of error, and perhaps more importantly; what has not worked. What sometimes, even with best intentions, has gone terribly, terribly wrong. Yes, there I think I really have something to say. As a wife? Sure. I’ve been married twice, I ought to have learned a little something by now about what not to do, what to definitely do, and what we simply must do to thrive in the strange and lovely union of two-ness. Yes. Seems I have ample experience in my heart to voice my wisdom, my mistakes, and many of my follies, to others seeking marriage truths. As a Daughter? Ya, I suppose I could go there. Painful, hidden, tarnished and a bit broken, this is where my voice gets a little tremble. As a Sibling? same, same. So there we are. In relationships and parenting, I could probably speak volumes, I could spout on about my life and my experiences. I could be funny. I would be funny, and I could be interesting, but would it all be honest? Would I let all of my heart spill out? Not so sure yet.

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What does my heart have to say about the rest of me? Let’s see. As a professional who juggled a high stress career while raising a family for nearly a decade? Oh, lots to say on this one. Yes. Especially in answer to the always popular question over the years, “How do you work from home doing that job with two, three, four children?”… but there is fear in my voice here. Now that my choices have changed; so too has my voice, and I feel perhaps stripped of my right on both the subject of my career itself, as well as the managing of it alongside “the everything  else” all at once. I did, after all, just quit, right? Quit. Gave up. Admitted defeat. Realized there had been an invisible battle, and that I had been fighting with an invisible nemesis this whole time; and with the decision to leave, I lost my invisible badge of honor? Or maybe, rather, I won it back? Couldn’t be. I hardly win at anything. I don’t gamble for this very reason. I am not lucky enough for dumb luck. Yet, try as I might to wallow in the very real pangs of defeat from my invisible war, I can’t help but feel like I have won something better in my decision here. Though what this decision looks like in the very not-so-invisible family budget is down right frightening. So I don’t know about this one. Seems best to quiet my voice there until I’ve decided.

What I do know for sure is that our voice is really, at our core, just our heart speaking. If we have something to say, it’s coming from our heart; so say it, and say it entirely. Otherwise, it gets defeated before it had a chance, spoken perhaps, but only in splinters and half-truths. Shushed to a whisper. Speaking the whole truth may break our hearts, but that’s ok. It may also strengthen them. Whether we have a voice about life and the deeper meanings of existence, love and marriage, careers and education, or just on the best way to get a child to put her dang pee pee into the potty rather than in a puddle onto the floor, its all worthwhile. It’s all uniquely ours to have in our hearts; and therefore, be said- in either a ROAR or in a whisper, as long as its said with truth.

Ok, deep enough for a Saturday morning. Its much easier to speak my voice in funny, yes that is where I most often land. Funny is safe, funny is easy. Funny can be raw and truthful too. Yep.  I am learning, just like mine, there is a world out there of hidden hearts. Let them speak up. They all have some truth to say if only we’d listen. In fact, I’d love to hear more of yours, so I’ll shut up now.