this little light of mine

Whatever you are physically...male or female, strong or weak, ill or healthy—all those things matter less than what your heart contains. If you have the soul of a warrior, you are a warrior. All those other things, they are the glass that contains the lamp, but you are the light inside.
— cassandra clare, clockwork angel

Get ready. This may be a bit long and rambly. Or not. Maybe I will find all the words I am trying to say just under the surface, waiting to be extricated and put in order. It is more likely that I will weave and twist and find my way from point A to that some vague in the distance destination, to the final thought, the point of it all. 

Sometimes, I have such strong conversations in my head that I think I have spoken the words out loud. It is a common occurrence at my house for me to declare something and then to stare confusedly at one of the people wondering why they are staring back as if I am  speaking a foreign language. It is in that moment that I say, "Oh, did I not say the other words, the first words out loud to you?" Pieces of missing information leave gaps in my conversations and completed thought processes. Sometimes I write a note on Facebook or a caption on Instagram, intending to come back later and say more words, the hundreds of words that are sloshing around in my brain. Then, I can't remember where I wrote it, said it, or even if the words ever made their way from the inside out. 

Recently, I re-read Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg. This was the book that began it all for me. It was the book that released my words and gave me the courage to show up and speak my truth. Shortly after I first read it in 2000, I began a blog and it was just me and a few homeschooling friends bouncing words back and forth to each other. I wasn't trying to create something. I wasn't trying to write words that supported some other endeavor. I wasn't trying to write perfect words, sentences, paragraphs. I was just noticing and recording, trying to make sense of my life. It was perfectly me. 

During that re-reading, I noted somewhere that I was ready to show up like that again. Ready to make the commitment to myself, to write my truth. I can't find where I declared it and this morning, instead of digging through archives here and there and everywhere, trying to appease my mind that thinks it is lost sometimes, I am choosing instead to just begin to write. 

This past weekend, I spent some times away, hitting the reset button after a personal betrayal and loss earlier in the week that left me sorting through the rejection pieces, the shards that had surfaced again to pierce my heart. I wondered about what we lose when we speak the truth. I wondered what took me so long to speak my truth within this circumstance. I wondered about my truth. 

While sitting at the table, clipping words and images from magazines ( the best form of therapy I know ), I listened to Elizabeth  Gilbert talk with Glennon Doyle Melton on her podcast, Magic Lessons. Glennon was speaking about the beginnings of her writing career and she declared, "I'm going to be a shameless truth teller". My heart moved to my throat, tears flooded my eyes, and I asked myself, "When did I stop writing my truth." Some of my internal words remind me that it doesn't matter, that I don't have to go back and figure that out, that I can begin today ... again ... to write my truth. Other internal words whisper, "It was when you began to feel that you  had to prove something ... that you had to prove that you are an artist, a creator, a healer, a wise woman, a spiritual seeker  ... whatever." Those secondary words are true. I lost something of myself on the way to becoming who I am. 

Last week, as I was feeling so deeply the loss of those who were my friends, as the angered stage of grief pounded me, as I had to speak strong words about myself and who I am and how I show up in the world, I posted quite a lot of words publicly on Facebook. Almost immediately, the shame rolled in. For, who am i? Am I an artist, a woman building a business, a soulful believer of all the magical things? And if I am, I probably should just tone it down, should keep my opinions to myself, should reflect only love and light and forgiveness and grace into the world. I could do that. And it would feel false, false, false. 

Whether anyone else thinks it is right or wrong, appropriate or inappropriate, best for business or not, here is what I know. Showing up to the world in the most authentic way possible is the most important thing to me. Sharing my hurt and my anger is important to me because I want others to know that this magical life is not all rainbows and butterflies. I hurt the way that you hurt. I get angry the way that you get angry. I hurt others and I have to make it right. I am gloriously human and I'm not going to hide that away anymore. 

Here is my commitment ... to myself ... to you.

I am showing up here in this space, each day, and I am writing like I used to write. It may be long and rambling before getting to a point; it may have no point at all. Some days it may read more like a word salad and some days you will nod your head, place your hand to your heart, and whisper, "me too" All I know is that I have to write words that are true to me and I have to give myself permission for the words to be wonderful or bad or make no sense whatsoever. I have to shed defending my words or apologizing for my words or worrying that I am being unprofessional in this endeavor. 

The candle you see in the photo above is the fourth candle I lit for my friend who was enduring stop and start labor for ten days. I promised her that I would hold a welcoming light for her sweet baby girl until she made her way into the world. I found out this morning that she was born over night. New birth, new life, new beginnings. Personally, I feel like a newness has fallen on me as well during this last ten days. First, a releasing what was. Now, a stepping into the next iteration of my life. 

This time, I'm gonna let my little light shine.