I recently joined a writing course called Wild Hearts. It’s 30 days worth of writing prompts intended to help you write your way home, to move you out of your comfort zone and push you deeper into yourself, into the wilderness within. To get you writing honestly about where you have been, where you want to be, what you need and what you desire. There were parts of this course description that spoke to me, specifically these call outs that felt like they were written with me in mind.
- You are one of the wild, restless ones – rarely content to swim on the surface of things. You’re meant for freedom, hearing the call of the wolf, longing to dance under the moon, made for diving deep.
- You know, right at your core, that you are meant for more than the constraints of your current reality. That there is something waiting to be born.
- You deeply long for community, a safe space, a tribe of like-minded souls and an inspiring container in which to create. A collection of wild souls – just like you.
- You want to be pushed farther, held accountable, and encouraged to show up.
We are a little over a week in and to be honest, I’ve been overwhelmed and absolutely paralyzed by the prompts. They’re wonderful and deep. They’re inspiring and thought-provoking. They’re rich with meaning and beg me for more time. I thought that I’d post them here each day to share, but that expectation quickly diminished into the background of life and a desire to do myself and my own writing justice. Instead, I’m committing to posting them a week at a time. This way, I can push myself to answer them instead of setting them on a shelf to collect dust. This way I can give them the thought and intention they deserve. This is my balance. This is my way. I hope you enjoy my heart-felt answers and join me as I seek to challenge my voice through words.
For so long, I believed that you are who you are. I didn’t used to consider the deep theological questions pertaining to identity, but who ever I decided to be in that moment was who I was always destined to be. There was never any thought or acceptance of change, morphing, evolving.
Today, I sit in a more empowered place. I feel like I’m living out who I am and embracing the parts of me that just are as they are by design, but I’m also excited that I have power in my hands and my heart. I have the power to create who I am. I have the power to mold my life into something that best represents how I want to live. My faults don’t always have to be my faults. My heartbreaks can heal and I can choose to forgive. I can be more generous. I can be more selfless. I can be an expert in anything I choose. I can learn. I can adapt. I can understand. I can be.
I am begging to be created.
I’m not fully who I am to be. I’m in process. I’m not discouraged by this journey. I’m pinning for it. I’m excited for the next bend in the road showing me new scenery, giving new air to breathe and allowing my eyes to set on sights never before absorbed into my soul. Tomorrow I will have new words and new thoughts and new observations. Tomorrow will be better than today because I’m just a bit closer to who I’m supposed to be. I’m being crafted into a new shape with each passing day. Each daily form brings newness that I’ve never known. I am who I decide to be and in that is a passion that stirs; never satisfied. It’s constant. I’m embracing each phase of this life as beautiful and owning each moment as mine to have. I don’t think about this life as having a completion, but more of being recreated over and over until my days exhausted. There are constants that run through the thread of all my morphs, the medium by which I’m made cannot be altered, but my shape, my purpose, my path is begging to be made and then be made again.
If you cracked open a song of my youth, you’d be flooded with misplaced angst. You’d be covered in tears flowing from streams of loneliness begging to be loved by someone, desired by someone, seen by someone. You’d see confusion and constant searching for understanding rush toward you in a wave of words that don’t make any sense; they’re jumbled and misunderstood. They’re long and out of context trying too hard to sound smart and superior. Hiding in the melody, you’d wouldn’t be able to ignore the pain that sweeps over you like a light that hides all the shadows. You’re unable to cower in the dark forced to face those who tear you down and confirm all your darkest thoughts about yourself. In the songs of my youth, you find tons of eyeliner and fishnet stockings wrapped in passion disguised as indifference desperately trying to blend in to the crowd of misfits.
My pain lives in my mind. It eats away at my confidence and self worth like flesh eating bug determined to devour every last morsel of my existence. It’s the dark thoughts that protest through the busy streets of my mind. Their large hand-painted signs on poster board from the corner convenience store all say the same thing. In bright letters with wonky spaced type, you can clearly see the words “You’re not good enough.” They chant over and over marching with such persistence. They’re armed with reasons and logic to defend their stance to anyone who questions them.
My joy lives in my mind. They’re building up a resistance to pain set out to destroy me. They’re armed with riot gear ready to fight off any signs of negativity. Their shields are lined with my accomplishments and their weapons are the faces of my closest friends and family. Their words are powerful and come from my deep desire to create. They cover the pain like a blanket of gas meant to extinguish pain with hopefulness and love.
The fight of opposing sides continues. The resistance of each side meets in the middle and the war wages on. Pain is mighty and strong, but joy always has the upper hand.
This depth, this feeling, this constant state of being affected is both a weight and a privilege. One cannot exist without the other. This weight leaves me feeling depleted at the end of the day. The weight cannot be lifted, but somedays it feels heavier than others. Some days are light and it merely feels like a penny in my pocket that serves as a reminder of my depth, but other days it feels so heavy that I can feel my bones crushing beneath the insurmountable pounds that seek to rob me of my breath. Even in this burden, I feel privileged and singled out. I see others without this weight and I can’t imagine a life lived in such oblivion. I feel honored to have this gift. I can see things that others cannot. I can feel the searing pain in a grieving mother’s eyes, I can grasp for breath with a victim’s injustice at a criminal walking free, I can weep alongside those who are displaced by wars. I have empathy on a level that I’d never surrender to indifference. However, I can celebrate in the news of a new baby as if it were my own, I can shout in victory as we conquer another plight of social injustice, and I can offer my most sincere congratulations on the marriage union of someone I’ve never met. I can feel both extremes of joy and pain. I know that the weight of the pain is payment for the privilege of joy and I happily make that transfer each day.
Holy is capturing ordinary moments in my mind for safekeeping. Holy is the space between sleep and awake where my consciousness is unsure how to separate reality from dreams. Holy is the promise of a blank sheet of paper and nightly prayers before bed. Holy is in the imagination of created spaces separate from reality. It’s toy cars and wooden puzzles. It’s slow kisses and family vacations. It’s in living room dance parties and red wine while cooking dinner. Holy is grace upon grace that I humbly accept even though it’s undeserved. It’s in bedtime stories and seemingly endless hugs. It’s in cracking open a new book and the sound of keys being punched on a keyboard delightfully expressing a slew of built up thoughts. Holy is paint covered hands and the excitement of a new project. It’s in the friends that fill my home and the sounds of laughter that they bring along. It’s long conversations and deep contemplation. It’s in loving others above yourself and teaching our kids to do the same. It’s in the everyday. It’s in the extraordinary. Holy is in the promise of a new day.
With your ear pressed firmly to my chest, you’d hear it. You wouldn’t even have to try that hard. You’d hear it clearly and boldly and loudly because I never seem to be able to do anything in quiet and this would be no exception. You’d hear thunderous and vibrant passion. You’d hear melody that would make you respond to whatever was in your own heartbeat. It would connect us and it would tell my story next to yours. It would overwhelm you with friendship and hope. It would give you permission to live and love and dive and search. It would comfort you among your insecurities whispering truths of affirmation. It would cook you a meal and listen intently as we both unashamedly devoured our entire plates without apologies and ask for seconds. It would make you feel heard like you’ve never before experienced. It would challenge you to reach and offer you encouragement to dream. You’d hear bold and strong when you needed courage and you’d hear pauses and lightness when you needed compassion. You’d hear the love and genuine heart for you long after you walked away. You’d sing the words even when you didn’t mean to. You’d find yourself humming that tune in the car or the shower reminding yourself that you’re seen and loved and needed in a world of noises not meant for you.
The silence of awe and wonderment come to me in times of observation. It comes when I allow myself to just feel rather than to try and analyze or attach meaning. It comes to me when I’m struck by beauty and can finally find the desire to just sit still and savor the moment. I try to freeze time and capture it in my mind so that I can refer back to it later when I need some solace. It can come at the view from the top of a mountain or on a beach where the water looks expansive and never-ending. It’s where I’m left speechless and struck by the earth without human interference. I’m left with the feeling of being small, which I think is good for me sometimes. To feel like there are things bigger than me, more important than me, and things that exist without my input or permission. I’m silenced by a Godly authority in my life and I’m comforted like the daughter I am.