Discovering your Soul Nook, Part 3 It is the place I go to when I'm in need of expression.
It is the thing I was doing at 12 years of age when my english teacher called me out for 'scribbling' instead of paying attention in class. I was paying attention, very much so, just not to her. My scribbles were more important and interesting to me than memorising quotes from "Great Expectations", so I stepped forward to stand up for my scribbles, but the only way I knew how, was to give cheek.
Doodling on my maths book was a more effective problem solver for me than learning algebra has ever proven to be, so I would step forward to defend my doodles, but I only knew how to do so by saying 'algebra is stupid'.
Stepping forward to challenge the teacher who designated herself the uniform police and confiscated the big loud earrings I loved, was a more an authentic expression of who I was than the obedient student I failed to be.
What's important, like, REALLY important to you?
I didn’t know it then like I do now, but the freedom to process and express my experiences is important to me. So that my spirit may connect with others, that is my holy grail.
Every time my expressed self was questioned, I stepped forward to defend her and I was detained; In school, that meant walking a plank to the principles office. So, what did I learn?
Being authentic and stepping forward meant trouble. Doing what I was good at, was not good.
How does that show up in your life?
This learning manifested in many ways in my life. I still expressed myself, but found a way to do so without taking risks. I found a way to pour my 'real' insides out covertly, I buried my truths in code. I would write, paint, doodle and dream my way out of the problems of life.. I created an actual written code so nobody could read my writings.
I didn't know how to express what was true for me in the 'real world' without getting into trouble, so I did it in secret, where nobody could find me.
My first awareness of this came too late for what I now refer to as my first marriage. My censored self chose the wrong person to marry (or maybe not!) and for the wrong reasons. I knew we were in trouble very early in to our union and because I was at such a loss for awareness of my truth, I spent my wife years tormenting myself with the idea that the reason there was no love, was that I was unloveable.
The art of secret communication
One day, I approached my ex husband with lyrics to a song I had written and asked that he read them. I had emerged from a writing trance and was full of the buzz of having captured what I desperately wanted to say to him, but could never find a voice with which to speak it. He rolled his eyes, as if all I managed to achieve was a loss of time, my carefully chosen words amounting only to an unimportant, childish indulgence. I never told him the lyrics were actually about us. I had already risked the first step and was treading treacherous ground, I was secretly asking him to meet me half way.
His response confirmed to the exile in me that she would never see the light of day in this relationship, I hadn't the courage to go any further, so I stepped back in again.
I realise now that's just where he was, and I too was at. I went to a counsellor to help me fix myself, fix us. It was there I discovered how I lived my life was a covert operation... 'censored' was how I was in all my relationships.. even with myself.
I was clumsy, afraid, avoid to express myself directly, always in trouble when I tried and through the accumulation of all calamities brought about by my indirectness, I associated my most truthful expressions with feeling wrong. It was a perpetual confirming of the mistaken belief held by my younger, outwardly expressed, in your face, troublesome self.
I've come a long way since then... I've learned how to figure out what's important to me and how to speak from that place, without either the tip-toe-ing or sledgehammering I thought was necessary. I learned to express myself and to be more open, I learned how to fear less and love more. I still have my blind spots, but I’m well into the process of becoming a more holistic, authentic person.
Still, I've carried a vague sense that something, some part of me is still missing... calling me.
What part of you is missing?
Most recently I have conceded the war of attrition with my mind and decided to turn instead to my heart with this question 'What part of me is missing?’ What part is yearning to belong?', just rest it gently there, don't force an answer. Just let it come. Doing this was like turning on a magnet, I gave myself to the charge of a larger force.
In Part 4, I’ll tell you what I discovered.
Always, Amanda <3
Want to read more posts in this series?
Start here for part one... Where do you belong?
Part two... Finding your hidden strength