31 Days of Finding My Voice (Day 2)- Rejection

I wasn’t sure I was going to write about this or not, but this 31 days of “Finding My Voice” is about just that – speaking and writing about the things I wouldn’t usually use my voice to speak.

What could be harder than rejection? Telling others you were rejected! It’s that feeling of embarrassment and shame. It’s allowing others to see that you were not accepted, or chosen – like putting a spotlight on something people possibly can’t see and allowing them to see it.

Like some of you know, I applied to go on a retreat, and you had to answer some pretty hard questions, and those questions were vulnerable and raw! I wanted to be a part of this significant and big retreat not just for the retreat itself, but to be a part of in this place and space in my journey right now.

I waited and waited to find out if I was one of the chosen to be sent an invitation … they promised us an answer by the 15th of September, and then they pushed it to the 29th as they had an overwhelming amount of people apply. I waited and looked at my email every time it chimed! I wanted this more than anything.

I spend a good couple of sessions talking about it in therapy with my therapist, and he knew just how important this retreat would have been to me. I opened myself up to him about just WHY this meant so much to me and how I felt about it. He got it .. he is one of the people who gets it, and understands just what this meant to me. Applying for this retreat felt like a huge part of my journey – it was a big damn deal as my therapist would put it :) – – – and it was.

I found out Friday that I was NOT one of the people chosen to go on this retreat. Some may see it as significant odds (350 selected out of the 3700 people who applied). Some people may say “maybe the next one” or some may say “it wasn’t about you and who you are”! Well for ME, putting myself out there to apply for this retreat was a HUGE step for me. Letting myself be seen in the answers to the hard questions they asked, and allowing myself to be vulnerable to the rejection that may happen?

I took it a lot harder than I thought I would! I thought I was prepared for it! I prayed about it! I kept telling myself and the inner child within me “if I don’t get chosen, it’s not about my worth, I am a good person deserving of this!”

All those positive thoughts got washed away when I read the denial email that kindly said, “it’s with our heavy heart to say” and “maybe next year” or “but please know you are on our waiting list” – The generic email sent to all the people who didn’t get it!

I cried for what seemed like forever! That old familiar feeling as a little child running to my room as fast as I could to get to a safe space to cry being unseen! It felt all too familiar with my past!

All those positive words I swore I would feel washed away in that moment of rejection! I felt hurt! It wasn’t just about the retreat! It wasn’t just about what the retreat was for! It was about being chosen for allowing myself to be vulnerable to the questions asked on the form! It was about someone choosing me and saying “this woman is deserving of this space and or “she is good enough to be a part of this retreat!”.

It FELT horrible. Then came letting others know that “I was not chosen”, which felt even worse! What will others think?

My therapist, of course, was nothing short of supportive, caring, and had open arms, heart, eyes, and ears to how I felt. His first response was “THEY made a HUGE mistake!” HE gets the story and the wounds this hurt comes from, and I so appreciate him for that.

My friends and family love me to the ends of the earth to know that this did hurt – but some people don’t understand why it hurt so much.

So what do I do with these heavy feelings? Well, I do what I always do … OVERCOME! I move thru it and find ways to rise above!

My therapist wants me to honor my feelings and continue talking about it because this is too important not to talk about! I just want to run past it, but something tells me he is right. I need to show the young part and myself that I don’t need to shove my feelings away. This is how I feel, and I am worthy of talking about it.

I have to say, writing about this tonight feels pretty raw and vulnerable … something I would never do before is to write about rejection! But maybe this is the first step in healing, and showing the inner self that it’s OK to feel and it’s ok to be sad and hurt without consequences.

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31 Days of Finding My Voice {Day 1} – The Challenge

It’s another year of the October “31 Days Writing Challenge” and I have decided to take the plunge! I have to admit. I was really hesitant

I have to admit, I was really hesitant over whether I was going to do it again this year, its not easy writing every day for 31 days. Heck I have a hard enough time writing once a month! but I am up to the challenge, because this journey I am on, has always been about taking chances, pushing through, and mostly finding my voice.

This 31 days challenge of “Finding my Voice” is about letting whatever is here in my mind speak to the space of this challenge, this blog. My writing has always been about that – but this is on a deeper level. Most of the time I write when I feel up to it, or find the words to the blog – but this challenge is about pushing through to use my voice even on the days its hardest to write.

I can’t promise I will make it through the whole 31 days, but I am going to try my hardest, I am going to make it my own personal challenge, and maybe that will help me grow this blog to where it used to be years ago when I wrote daily.

Maybe this challenge is not just about finding my voice, but finding the courage to be even when the moment doesn’t feel right, and pushing myself to connect even on days I dont want to connect.

One of the things I love most about this challenge is the connection is creates with others. You connect with so many different people on this challenge who are all out to do the same thing – connect, and write and push themself to the limits of putting your thoughts out there – even on days you wouldn’t normally write. We are all in the same boat and that is an awesome connection.

So come back every day and see what words and thoughts find this space! I look forward to connecting with others on this 31 day challenge.

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awaken memories

The past couple of weeks I have been experiencing very strong, vivid dreams and memories of my past when I was a little child, and it’s been incredibly hard to sit with these memories that have come to me in my sleep.

I have written before about “crying wake up’s” that I experience once in a while – dreaming and then waking up crying out of my sleep. Well, its happening again only now it’s happening along with very vivid and strong memories of my past.

The moment I wake up with a dream like this, I try and grab my phone’s notepad app to write down whatever I can remember to capture as much as I can! If I fall back asleep without writing the dream down, I will forget details.

I have had crying wake up’s before! I had had bad dreams before, but this is different, this is vivid, and they are strong and painful even. These dreams have been effecting me and my personal life and connection to self.

My therapist and I have been talking about them more in session and the meaning behind them and what the dreams/memories may be trying to tell me. We have spoken about it, I have written about it, I even talked with someone who knew a lot about dreams from those abused in the past, or from abuse survivors.

The dreams and the wake up’s are the inner young child’s way of telling a story she holds! Sometimes when we work on healing for so long, the inner child begins to trust more, she begins to step away from the wall just enough to let images be visible from the young child’s perspective. My inner child is telling me a story of the past that needs my voice, needs healing, needs to be spoken for her to move on, and grow up to be the adult I am today.

I have been told many times that the inner child is stuck inside, and sometimes it takes years and years for the young inner child inside to finally be free and ready to accept the endured abuse and pain, and the story she holds to be told, to be felt, to be trusted!

I have been in therapy for ten years, and in these ten years, I have talked about my story many times in different ways. I have worked through a lot of the pain! I have worked through a lot of the images and the story behind my past. I have painfully stepped into my past.

But it’s different this time; I feel a different shift happening inside of me to where the young part of me feels present; particularly through these vivid, horrific, painful dreams.

These dreams feel so real like it’s happening all over again! It’s the closest I have been to the abuse since it has happened, and it’s scary and painful in ways I cannot describe.

So what do I do with this? At times I am afraid to shut my eyes to sleep at night. My therapist knows what “I had a crying wake up” means and just how hard that is for me – – but that doesn’t even touch just how painful these wake up’s are or have been these past couple weeks.

My husband has even experienced me struggling in my sleep many times this past month, and he has seen just how horrible it has been for me. The crying wake up’s, the wincing in my sleep, the struggle to get out of the situation I am in during these dreams.

What I have come to realize and understand is, this is not something to hurt me all over again, but more so a way for the young inner child within me to speak and show me what she holds. It’s her way of saying “this is what I hold, this is what I remember – and she looks for healing.

But what about all the years I have talked about my past? What about all the hard work I have done so far in working with the images and stories of my past? I thought I was healing? Why is this happening now? Well, This IS the healing! This is the young part of me healing!

Finally, she has trusted to come out of the dark shadows within and show me, to use my voice to talk about “her” feelings and “her” pain.

We all have an inner child! For those abused as a child, that inner child is “stuck” and “silenced” and driven to fear out of being told for many years that she is not allowed to talk about it!

Me as the adult I am today, I have told the story! I have re-lived the old images of the past- but the young inner child wasn’t ready yet, she stayed dormant to the healing until trust could build just enough to come out from behind the walls.

As the healing has happened within me over the years, the young inner child has finally become awaken to my truth, to the trust of my therapist who holds the story. I have spent ten years showing up and showing her trust, love, and connection. The young inner child has awakened to that healing I have worked so hard through – and now that young wounded child is here – listening and ready to heal.

A physical wound heals from the inside out – An emotional wound heals from the outside in! Think about it, emotional healing begins on the outside and works its way inward, and deep within is that wounded, scared little child stuck, now ready to heal and speak and talk and even feel, and that is what I have realized is happening inside of me.

I spoke with someone recently who specializes in healing the inner child, and she said to me “Karen, you are healing, the dreams and the wakeups are not there to hurt you, but to show you.”

Difficult to think about isn’t it? Doesn’t make it any easier to shut my eyes before bed knowing I could be shown yet another image of my past that is painful or hard to see – – but if I can heal another wound on the little girl inside of me, it’s worth going through the pain again.

It took me years and years to believe that I have an inner child. I didn’t want to believe it! I struggled with the thought that if I admitted to having an inner child, that something was wrong with me. I feel differently now – I welcome this journey, and I embrace whatever the inner child wants to show me, because I know, from the outside in, she is healing.

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