Writing in The Dark

Writing in The Dark

How do you write healing?

There was a time when I awakened with an urgency to help others heal. Through writing, I would lay bare the first fruits that God poured into me upon the rising of a new sun. Oftentimes, the inspiration came to me first, beckoning me to see someone or something differently; to be more attentive to those around me; to stand in the gap for someone else somehow. This ritual made me feel connected to something greater. I felt useful, like my gifts mattered; I felt valued, like my words mattered; I felt radiant, like my purpose mattered. At that time, I felt as if I was doing precisely what I was called to do—affirm, love, validate, or help someone along their journey, somehow. I wrote healing … or so I thought.

Somehow, I had moved far away from writing. I had become eerily afraid of writing publicly. I was now afraid of my words sounding hollow, insincere, superficial, or lacking if I returned to the page. Something happened, but what?

Photo by frank mckenna on Unsplash

Attempt after repeated attempt, I failed to write. I failed to find the courage to write or speak the words that had become dark. I was embarrassed and ashamed that I had been feeling off. I was no longer inspiring the world. I was no longer writing to heal myself, let alone anyone else. If I dared to maintain a façade that I was writing to inspire, then I would have to declare myself an imposter, so I decided not to write for far too long.

I was not good at pretending I was okay.

I was out of alignment with what gave me purpose and fulfillment. I was chasing what I thought I wanted rather than embracing what I already had. My children were getting older, and I thought that my being a writer and a full-time mom within the home was wearing out its usefulness. Truth is I wanted what I thought was a “real job”. I also wanted a level of financial say-so in order to feel like I was contributing to my family. Being a writer was not paying the bills.

So, I set out to pursue full-time work and got it, but it damn near cost me everything. Not writing cost me dearly. Like an older car in need of constant repair, the costs only mounted. My emotional, mental, and physical health suffered. My marriage did not escape unscathed either. Forget about self-care. I did what I had to do to make it through the day but could not wear a mask beyond that. I was not good at pretending I was okay. I struggled with being present in most relationships due to the complexity that I introduced to an otherwise tranquil, happy, and writerly life. By evidence of my actions, writing was no longer my priority and I grieved not writing.

Truth is, the further away I strayed from my gift of being a writer, the harder it was to return to it. It was as if I had buried my gift somewhere—under papers, behind a closed office door, within the desk drawer, in the safe with a combination lock. But I forgot the combination. The longer I stayed away, the harder it was to call myself a writer. I implored spirit to give me meaningful words to write, to just give me back my gift already, but in order to do so, I would have to write through darkness, and writing through darkness was hard work. There was no quick fix. Writing my unbridled truth, albeit dark, was the only way that I could find true healing.

Writing in the dark allowed me to remember the combination which was living intentionally, practicing gentleness and compassion with myself, and not beating myself up for making mistakes. These were the rituals that restored my gift, allowed me to write again in earnest, and provided me with the inspiration, love, and clarity that I missed.

Writing my unbridled truth, albeit dark, was the only way that I could find true healing.

My healing required me to write even as I healed. It was painful. Getting my gift back required me to reject my mask, acknowledge uncomfortable truths, and forgive myself. Writing is an arduous task, and to do it “right” means doing it true even through the darkness.

Intentionality As A Tool for Authentic Living

Intentionality As A Tool for Authentic Living

With a solid week of 2018 in the books, how are we doing? Are we still all guns blazing with intention? What about our creative and spiritual gifts? Are we adamantly designing the lives we claim to want, or is it a very real temptation Continue reading “Intentionality As A Tool for Authentic Living”

Won and Done?

Won and Done?

Part of the answer to the question, How Free Exactly Do You Want to Be? lies in how vulnerable and authentic we are willing to be when and if we show up. We must know that all of our life experiences can be useful and instructive, much in the same way the words of our ancestors are for us now. What we write and share has the potential to be the very salt for someone else’s stew of life. Regardless of how hard we think we’ve fought, we can hardly be done.

Just one day after the 2016 United States Presidential Election, I was more than Continue reading “Won and Done?”

How Free Exactly Do You Want to Be?

How Free Exactly Do You Want to Be?

Throughout the month of November, I will share with you some close and undeniable truths that I believe will set us free for real. These posts will vary in length and will end with a question for your personal contemplation. Ultimately, the sum of this time will help you better answer the question of “How Free Exactly Do You Want to Be?” for yourself, and find steps you can take to help you get there.

I am allowing myself to be led and used by the Spirit, so Continue reading “How Free Exactly Do You Want to Be?”

Creativity as Resistance: My Will to Live

Creativity as Resistance: My Will to Live

We live in a torn world.

While there is obvious truth to this lament, the “world” itself is hardly this nebulous galaxy of unsuspecting or vague entities, but rather, of people with the ability to think and do different and better—people who set its orbit into motion through repeated microaggressions, complicity, acts of outright violence, and wars that continue to assail the very human spirit. The political and social unrest in this country alone has become so unbelievably disconcerting and predictable that one can easily acquiesce to this as the new normal.

Though I have also made the observation that the world seems to have gone mad, I refuse to readily embrace new Continue reading “Creativity as Resistance: My Will to Live”