I feel myself doing it again—putting a lid on all the things that matter.
I feel myself biting back the words I really wish to say, dissolving them into thin air before they can even hit my tongue.
Like a pot with a top that fits too tightly and smothers all the air and fragrant cinnamon smoke inside, I am silence.
And silence prevails.
Not the peaceful kind—oh no, the kind that screams from the inside. The kind that is wretched and lonely and vibrates and shimmies and sways—making my skin feel too tight, pulsating inside my bones with energy.
Energy that could be something, but instead it turns in on itself and becomes rotten. It becomes hopeless. Helpless. It is stagnant, a swampy land in my heart. It is imprisoned, wishing to flow outward, but only bouncing around inside me.
And maybe in the really tough moments like this, it seems that my voice doesn’t matter, but it does. Maybe it seems like my heart doesn't matter, but it does.
Maybe in these moments, I feel utterly powerless, but that couldn't be further from the truth.
Because I can take the lid off anytime I want.
I can dig in, find my strength & uncage myself.
At any moment.
I can speak up---
I can let it out, my feelings, the real, muddy, unedited ones.
I can let them stream and flow and cascade into rough, fleshy lines of poetry.
I can let them rain in tears that parade haphazardly down my cheeks.
I can let them drip and splash and fling into the fresh white canvas of a painting.
I can let them bend and sway into dances that know no words, only frantic, impassioned movements to a wild snare drum.
I can let out my feelings. I don't need to sit on them.
I have spent so much of this life holding space for others…now, I hold space for myself.
I will not deny myself even half a tear I wish to cry.
It is all welcome here.
The fear. The pain. The jagged streaks of anger. The hope. The brittle pieces of agony. The shame. Any words I wish to say. Just rawness. Just me.
It is all welcome here, every drop. I usher it forth, with the silk scarf of self compassion I've been hiding in my back pocket.
Because there are a thousand reasons to be quiet, but only one to speak up---because my soul will not f*cking allow me to play small anymore, not in any way.
I no longer have the option. It is time to glisten in all of me. Loud & awkward & raw & vulnerable, yet confident in this.
So I breathe in —and let it out—pure emotion bolts out of me. It molts & shakes & transforms into trembling art, into truth, into love & white-hot passionate poetry. It ripens, like a delicate fruit, into the life I always wanted.
I take a bite, the mango-like sweetness drips down my chin.
And let it all out, my feelings, my thoughts, my voice, my words, all the things I was always too scared to say---and it twists, like clay in my hands, becoming a marbled masterpiece.
I do not have to be silent, not in that old, terrible way.
I do not have to stand by, frozen and lifeless, while the world chatters on animatedly.
I can join in. I can be myself. I can speak. I can let it all out. I can be free.
And so my entire being pours out in the these words. A thousand butterflies released from my chest. They hatch, I fly. Then soar. I splash around the edges & find a simply exquisite joy, here, amongst the painful bits, holding back exactly not at all. It is awkward and imperfect, and perhaps that makes it even more precious. A gem. A pure taste of liberation.
My voice matters.
My heart matters.
Every time I remember this, I radically change my life.
Your voice matters.
Your heart matters.
Every time you remember this, you radically change your life.
photo: martinak15, found on flickr.com. https://www.flickr.com/photos/martinaphotography/
published: Jan 24, 2017.