“I wanted only to try to live in accord with the promptings which came from my true self. Why was that so very difficult?” Hermann Hesse
As a child did you hear a calling, a whisper that held the promise of who you would become? You may not have had the words to articulate that into a profession or way of life, but you felt the joy. There was excitement and happiness and something just felt right when you were involved in activities that involved your whole self. It may have been art, music, sports, writing, solving problems, communicating, caring for animals, building things.
Something got in the way.
Parents, teachers, and relatives may have had different ideas of what your life should look like. You started to hear “You can’t” and “You shouldn’t.” You listened, they were the grownups, right? Grownups knew best. Growing up those external voices then became your internal voices of limiting beliefs, critical thoughts, and fear.
So you tucked that longing deep into your heart. Life went on, you grew up, had responsibilities and took on roles. Perhaps became a wife, a mother, had a career, became the caretaker of a parent, etc.
But WHO am I?
Can you answer that question? If you've been so busy being everything to everyone else you probably can't. You quieted your longing for so long that you can't hear the answer. And now you're left with a feeling that something is missing. When you do let those whispers of longing float up once in a while you feel the pangs of missing out more sharply. Quickly you push that feeling down. On most days you use something to distract yourself and ease that painful feeling. Food, shopping, alcohol, working, more “doing” for everyone. “Later” you say, “Later I’ll listen, later it will be time for me.”
Will you listen?
Life brings challenges, change, even loss as a way to get our attention. It takes courage to listen. You can do it by getting still, going inward, and allowing the voice from your heart to speak. You will feel a release, a sort of lightness wash over you. Don't resist it. Otherwise that whisper becomes a shout, “Don’t push me away, listen to me, before you are so far off course, you may never experience the life you know you are meant to live!”
Take a chance.
It feels scary, I know. But you can learn to use the fear as a catalyst for change. Start to look at the ways you hold yourself back out of fear. Start to do the things that brought you joy as a child. Get in touch with her again. Little by little your heart will open to the place where your longing is waiting. That takes courage too. You never thought of yourself as brave but there it is…the joy sparks and the excitement of possibilities begin to bubble up. You are ready to take the step to become your true self.
We all want to know, to feel, that our life mattered. When you listen to the whispers, honor the longing, and live your life in fulfillment of that longing, you will be connected to your true self.
Here’s to honoring the whispers!