“Every difference of opinion is not a difference of principle.” Thomas Jefferson
“Opinion is power.” Thomas Jefferson
In the middle of the night, it came to me that if we are not given a voice as children, that sometimes we never learn to speak up for ourselves. Then as life passes by and we suddenly are seniors we realize the mistakes we have made and ANGER pops into the picture!
Besides not learning to speak up for ourselves, I had to realize that the mindset of years past, when I was growing up, was that women were not allowed to speak up. Our opinions were not considered valuable. Our fathers, husbands, brothers and other male relatives were in charge of our lives. Consequently, to this day, women still fight to be heard. Most importantly, we don’t value our own words and worth.
Discounting our value, after years of experiencing doubt, equates to shaking a bottle of soda pop, only to see it explode all over everywhere as we age. Frustration and anger rears its’ ugly head as a rattlesnake ready to strike. To realize or suddenly feel that we have lived an unfulfilled life drops us into a dark, dank, and very deep hole. So, how do we find a ladder to climb out of this mess we have fallen into?
The answer came to me as I looked at my quote for the day. “A flower does not think of competing with the next flower, it just blooms.” Sensei Oglu Hmmm, why didn’t I think of that? But now I have a way to grow out of my hole… you add enough fertilizer, water, and good dirt, and your plant will bloom.
Gwynn, thank you, this is lovely, real and true – it is a special gift that if we have been denied a voice, that we can now re-claim it – a very special gift indeed. And it requires all those lovely aids that you say – i.e. ‘add enough fertilizer, water, and good dirt, and your plant will bloom’. What a gift it is to see yourself in that flower that will bloom irrespective, it is in its and your nature if you allow it … anger has a rightful place if directed at the right ‘complex’ and can be transforming ultimately …
All good thoughts to you and your husband, Gwynn, as you negotiate this next phase ..
Susan, thank you for your lovely comment. I think anger can be used as a ‘boost’ in determination to help us/me grow. Sometimes we have to fight our way out of our hole to give us the strength we need to bloom despite too much fertilizer and rain.
Being stagnant and without opinion is very unhealthy. We learn so much as we grow older. Thank you for your support.
p.s. I wanted to add – the lotus emerges from the mud ..
I just chuckled… yup, the lotus emerges from the mud! I sure wish I had started wallowing out sooner! 😉
I love your quote at the end because it is so true. One of the first things that I learned as a musician was that the pie is big enough for everyone. You don’t have to be jealous or envious of the musician standing next to you. So when I finally got back into my writing in 2002 this piece of wisdom colored that area also. I realized the acknowledgment of my writing skills were not to be compared to others. I only had to write the best with the talent that I had been given. So competition in the form of looking at another writer and comparing what they write with what I write doesn’t come up. I focus and just write.
Writing and developing our voice is important. Being heard … whether via writing, song, or word is valuable to us all. We need to know that we count, but especially strong in our beliefs of our own skills, whatever they may be.
Thank you Pat for being a supportive friend!
So very true!
Camille, Thank you for your brief response. I look forward to checking out your blog.
I remember a moment in my mid-30s. I had been going to a bunch of workshops trying to figure out what was “wrong” with me. I was freewriting at my computer and realized that the words coming out were someone else’s voice. At that point I stopped going to workshops and made a list of things I wanted to do in my life…and started doing them. I realized that right or wrong, I wanted to hear my own authentic voice. It isn’t easy, and sometimes I still feel as though I have to fight to be heard. Our society still wants to shut us up and shut us down…we can’t let it.
I’m delighted that you worked on your own authentic voice as I LOVE IT! You are a delightful writer. As for me, I think I have finally found my writer’s voice. I just have to remember that I have a real voice for life’s projects too.
You will be home soon. It will be great to have you back. With all the fabulous activities you have enjoyed in NYC, I hope you will still remember to keep coming home!
Thanks for your fabulous comments! I do appreciate them!
So very true, Gwynn. An important subject to keep bringing to the surface, and hopefully teaching the young girls of today. Women continue to be pushed aside for promotions, etc. because that very important voice in negotiating and standing up for oneself has never fully been developed. We’ve made progress, yet have so much more to go. I remember being referred to as bossy or too opinionated when speaking up in my younger years. And that had the effect of silencing me — as intended. Now, I no longer care, but it has taken a long time and many opportunities have been wasted in the process. Thanks for speaking up on this. (And sorry it’s taken me so long to pop up here. I’ve been writing away and tried to bury myself in the novel).
Maybe because of the outside world, my parents did not allow my opinions. Plus, with the moves that we made I became even more shy and quiet than I was. I have always had difficulty standing up for myself especially in the work place. I was never secure in my abilities. However, despite being a slow learner on this subject, I AM learning to stand my ground. I’m sad that I didn’t learn this years ago!
Hey, I’m simply delighted that you are kind enough to stop by AND express your opinion! You have really been working on your novel, so I want you to know how much I appreciate your time, your support, and your comments!
You know, isn’t Linkedin A-mazing?!
Hello, Ma, Mrs. Rogers.
I hope it’s a wonderful day in the neighborhood!
This is a call to one of my all-time favorite past resignations!
Yes, it’s your long lost, ridiculously prodigal son, Nathan.
(I assume I’m the only prodigal.)
I hope you are doing really well!
Though, whilst skimming your blog for the first time, I think I read that your husband just had a serious surgery.
I’m very sorry aboot that.
I, of course, hope he’s rapidly recovering.
Your website is beautiful!
I’m very much looking forward to going through it.
Do you believe it’s really me?
How about…I used to bag and carry your groceries out for you at Albertson’s.
How about…it used to take me two hours and a tub of sour cream to eat two of your chicken enchiladas, because they were so frickin’ spicy hot!
I’ll never know how something so hot can be so delicious.
(I’m still a lightweight with the heat, by the way.)
I remember…if someone didn’t vacuum the faded, though lovely, red carpet in your den at 11314, Duchess’s fur would turn it into a white Christmas by the end of the week.
Back then, ’92-’94, you hated t.v. and only had three channels (good Lord that was funny!).
But I had the BEST time watching a lot of rented vhs’s on you off-white sofa and loveseat.
Is that enough?
I can go on and on and on…if you like.
Your social security number is…I kid.
We haven’t communicated since summer? of 1999.
I am so incredibly sorey aboot that.
I have no excuse(s).
My absence certainly has not been from any lack of love, respect, or honor for you and your family.
In fact, I’m writing to let you know how grateful I still am for taking me, a very lost stray, in and treating me like a member of your family all those years ago.
You see how good my memory is.
I remember EVERYthing aboot that time.
It is a transcendently bright and shiny beacon of light in my memory.
So it can’t be that hard for you to believe that I will always feel hugely indebted to you and your family.
I could be such a pill, and y’all just loved and helped me as much as my own folks.
(I’m still the exact same pill, by the way, don’t get too close).
This is simply my every 17 years thank you to you and the other two.
I swear by Odin’s beard and all the rednecks in Renton a day doesn’t go by I don’t think about my time in Seattle, most especially with y’all.
It’s one of my happy places I go in my mind when I’m not doing well.
You’ve got my email.
I would love to hear how you and your family are doing!
However, beyond that, it’s really not my intention to be all of a sudden all up in your life.
I was thinking I would try a lot harder and we could re-connect, catch-up every couple-few years?
Because I am definitely always going to let y’all somehow know from time to time I still live, how indebted to and highly I will always think of you, Heather, and Matthew.
And I’m afraid, that’s all I got, ma.
I am doing fine, by the way.
Very content, in my own weird way.
Take it easy.
Best wishes to Mr. Rogers in his recovery.
Best wishes to everyone!
Sis felicior Augusto, melior Traiano!
Respect and Honor
“I refuse to accept despair as the final answer to the ambiguities of History…I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final say in reality.”
HOLY MOLY… NATHAN, can it REALLY be you??? I do periodically check Google to see if I can find you or your parents, but you aren’t as transparent as I am at the moment. I absolutely will LOVE hearing from you! In fact, I’ll email you in a bit. I need to post another thought as I’m in the Insecure Writers’ Support Group and the first Wednesday of the month I have to say something besides, “Gulp!”
You are a marvelous young man and I can’t tell you HOW HAPPY I am to hear from you. More via email… Love and Hugs… Ma!
What a powerful post, Gwynn. I drank it all in. You know this topic is especially close to my heart so I’m deeply grateful that you are speaking up.
I think of all the times that I have kept “mum” without supporting myself, because supposedly others knew better. Hopefully, I’m learning! With all the craziness in my life right now… NOW IS a GOOD time for me to speak up!
Thank you for your delightful support, Gulara. I hope you are preparing for your birthday tomorrow. Happy Birthday, early. Enjoy your violin too! Hugs!