In the writing profession, solitary work is expected. You can brainstorm or collaborate with fellow artists but inevitably, it's just you, the blinking cursor and your thoughts for company. But what happens when your thoughts are none too gentle?
Sadness revealed that the heart of her fear of being alone is the damage those thoughts can do. Those thoughts I speak of are the ones that scream defeat into your face and cut you till you bleed. The harshest of those thoughts are laced with Rejection, a venom that can kill overtime if not treated appropriately.
I've been prey to the gleeful ravages of Rejection. It met me early.
During elementary school, I experienced a schoolyard exile from my group of friends. To my memory, one day I was friends with them, laughing and playing Sailor Moon, the next I was no longer invited to play. When I wrecked my brain for any reason they could do this, I wound up with this slithering statement: They just don't like you.
My essence. My being. Something about who I was had been found wanting in the eyes of our clique's leader. No matter what I did to reverse the sentence, I was never again fully accepted by she-who-shall-not-be-named.
I've had similar run-ins with Rejection since those days on the schoolyard, but this one cut me deep. It left me wounded, unable to embrace my voice or to let it be heard.
For years, any time I wanted to write, my immediate thoughts were not filled with the joy of discovery, but rather with sadness and fear. What if I offend someone? What if they misunderstand me? What if they don't like what I have to say? Will anyone even listen? I'd get so wrapped up in the fear of facing Rejection again that I would eventually muffle the flame of inspiration, deciding it was safer to remain silent.
With nothing pouring out, I became sedimentary in my creativity. I wasn't exercising my talent and the result was volatile. Self pity reined my thoughts and I found a dark, dank corner of my heart in which to wallow. Depression ruled and still, I didn't create.
I began, however, to share this desire to create, to write, with others. Instead of ridicule, my dream of writing was nurtured and celebrated. Hope returned. Soon, my constricted breaths were loosening. I started writing in my journal. I learned about other women who had opened their computers and taken the chance to share, who had picked up a pen and written that story that wouldn't leave them alone. I followed the bread crumbs they laid and found myself again.
After years of silence, I'm finally writing. A story has taken root in me and won't let go. Having grown from a short story written for a class in college, its expanding and transforming into something I'm not quite qualified to write...and yet I am. I have my an army of champions spurring me on and the permission to create.
What Rejection had intended to keep silent and held captive in darkness, Acceptance has set free and will never be held captive again without a fight.
Tomorrow, our saga continues. Join to see what happens.