Body-Mind-Spirit - Inspiration for Writers, Dreamers, and Seekers of Health & Happiness
Last week, a fellow writer, new to my work, asked: “How did you get up the courage to write such things, reveal yourself so, well, nakedly?”
I write what I need to write; trusting that what comes forward is what needs to be said. At times, while writing some of the poems in my book, I wanted to crawl underneath my desk and hide. I resisted that urge by assuring myself I didn’t have to share what I was writing with anybody–I just had to get it on the page. I’ve always resonated with that line from the Gnostic Gospels: if you bring forth what’s inside you, it’ll save you–if you don’t, it’ll destroy you. Writing helps not only save, but transform me.
Publishing what I wrote was another story. Throughout the years, I worried not only about what people would think of me, but I also worried my husband might leave me, my friends would hate me, and my parents would disown me. I worried I’d be destitute, homeless, locked up–all sorts of crazy things.
I asked the What-will-they-think-of-me question for many years. And then one day, I asked a different question: What do I think of me?
So much of what I feared others thought of me reflected deep, inner demons. So I brought light to those gremlins, exposed them, gave myself as much love and compassion as I could. This helped me understand that no part of my experience was shameful, and that I wasn’t a bad person for doing the things I’d done, nor was I an exhibitionist for writing about them. Yes, I wrote about sex, but never with the intention to arouse—I simply wanted to make sense of that important part of my life, and writing about it was the best way for me to do that.
When one person bears witness to his or her truth honestly, with integrity and courage, healing takes place not only for the writer, but also for the reader. Most of the feedback I’ve received about my book confirms this. My work isn’t for everyone, but many readers have told me it’s a balm because it gives them permission to accept themselves the way they are, and embrace parts of themselves they never thought they could.