“Difficulties come when you don’t pay attention to life’s whisper. Life always whispers to you first, but if you ignore the whisper, sooner or later you’ll get a scream.” Oprah Winfrey
Chances are, you’ve heard whisperings.
I sure as shit have. And every year/month/day I denied her was slowly dimming my spirit and leading me away from where I instinctively felt I needed to go.
Recently, I sensed my life was in a natural state of transition but that I was actively standing in my own way. I knew I was on the precipice of an awakening yet putting the chloroform over my own mouth to go back to sleep.
In your forties, you find yourself in a strange, misty bog between headlines like (insert typical Cosmo youth-obsessed vapidity headline here) and “Can’t wait to get your AARP discount?” and even stranger, spam emails for “Single Seniors.” What!? I’m still bleeding every month and doing a belly flop into a vat of chocolate with a baguette in my hand like a sword the week before!
I’m not there yet! Who was speaking to me—someone on the relative edge of old? Someone closer to 50 than 40 who was becoming more and more interested in looking forward than behind? Someone who was realizing with every passing year that my old ways of coping weren’t going to do sheisse to keep me thriving or even happy?
I’ve been journaling since my early twenties when rampant stress caused severe dizzy spells and a misdiagnosis of epilepsy. That’s the power of unchecked stress, folks. To say I can deny the screaming of my body, mind, and spirit would be an understatement. I’m the Queen of “No, no. I’m good. I’ve got this.”
Ladies and gentlemen, I didn’t have it.
I only looked like I did.
You know the drill… Hustle your ass off trying to show the world how very together you are but your A-game is the business of hiding your unworthiness behind the perfect facade.
In order to really have it, I’d have to give the reins to another part of me. She’d been waiting, fingers twitching to finally be the one in control, the only person with the skill to get us where we hoped to go. She knew this. She’s been trying to tell me for a long time.
Journal Entry: 8-20-14
“I feel like I’m at a crucial crossroads in my life…I feel torn in half. There’s a higher voice (I feel like the voice of my higher self has been talking for a few years and I’ve been ignoring it.) What’s the peril of that? Be still—HS says, “The things you’re struggling with (food, alcohol, anger) you are using to cover up. Get quiet. Really listen to yourself. Do what you can to be heard. Your soul has much to say.”
After years of ignoring that voice, HS was growing impatient. I could feel it like a warning.
“Please. Before it’s too late,” she’d urge.
“What’s the rush?” I’d ask, irritated that I was being pressured. Scared I was being asked not to have fun anymore. But I knew the reason she was pushing.
Tomorrow comes at you very fast.
Tomorrow is built on what I’m doing this very day.
…Tomorrow is a maybe.
Harsh, right? Make no mistake, the end is a destination no one will avoid. If I was going to BE her, I had to quit living like I had all the time in the world to course correct.
I needed wisdom to help me through the fundamental choice I faced—to stay where I was or make the changes my heart and soul asked of me. Time had come to admit that the voice that had been whispering and escalating to a scream was my own beautiful, wise voice and it had only my best interest at heart.
The truth was that living in a state where my younger (admittedly very juvenile) self was in charge was fun but was wearing on me, killing my spark, derailing my goals, and literally making me sick. I’d finally come to a point where I was willing to rethink EVERYTHING.
To allow the woman I wanted to become to emerge from inside of me, there had to be a true retirement of the woman I’d been—a changing of the guard. My Highest Self had waited long enough.
Doesn’t this precious gift—this one wild life—deserve our best and call upon us to show up as the highest version of ourselves? Isn’t that a place from which we have the most to offer the world? Dammit, doesn’t this world need that right now?
Many books I’d read over the years alluded to a Higher Self. I understood it as an existential idea, maybe an all-knowing observer hovering above my life that could only be accessed through meditation or drugs or inherent holiness, which I was sure I did not possess.
Now I see that I was always holy enough to receive her. She was the angel on my shoulder when my devil wanted to play, she was there in the advice I somehow gave friends that was more full of grace and wisdom than I thought I possessed, and she was ever-present as my intuition. She was always there, not that I always listened. But she never abandoned or ignored me in return. Now she was asking for me to allow her into being, to walk our walk, talk our talk, and love and work and mother and create and strive as her—the highest version of myself.
Shhhh… Listen. Do you hear that? Is it a whisper? Or a scream?