Someone I trust and respect asked me on Saturday when the light went out of my eyes, when I stopped thinking it was okay to express myself, when I lost my sparkle, and if I knew what it would take to bring it - and me - back. She reminded me of the time a couple years ago when I had spontaneously sung ‘This Little Light of Mine’ solo and acapella in front of 100 friends, acquaintances and strangers just because it was my song. She wondered, with compassion and concern, where that Shannon has gone.
When I mentioned that conversation to UberCoach, she concurred, and mentioned that while the blogging challenge has been a great way for me to write everyday, I actually haven’t been sharing myself. The posts, for the most part, have been quick, perhaps shallow, and very safe. I guess that explains the sharp decline in readership in the last month.
It really got me thinking. I don’t know when I decided (again) that it is not safe for me to share myself. I know that it’s a relatively recent resurrection of a fear that was conquered for a good long while and that came back like a zombie phobia in the last twelve to eighteen months. It’s also tied to my weight gain – I’m heavy-hearted and it shows in my body. What’s funny – by which I mean annoying – is that I also feel very small. Why can’t my body express that? Sheesh. Anway.
Somewhere along the bumpy ride of the last two years I made a series of decisions – it’s not safe to be open with people. There’s no point dreaming. You can’t trust anyone with your innermost secrets. Why bother fill in the blank (planning for a real holiday/getting fit/paying off debt/eating well/writing from your marrow) when it will all come to naught.
Really, I suspect there isn't any one point where I made these decisions – and I know that there were specific moments where particular relationships became unsafe. Thoughtless comments. Being gossiped about. Shattered promises. Dropped connections. They all add up. But I don’t know which straw broke my back. I just know that I am no longer someone who stands in front of a room singing my theme song. And, if I did do that, my theme song right now wouldn't be ‘This Little Light of Mine.’
When you (meaning I) have to hide one part of yourself here, and another part there, pretty soon you are spending all your energy trying to stay safe. I don’t know what it will take to regain that openness. But I promise I won’t give up the search.
|See - sparkles|