Monday, October 24, 2011

31 Days: Letting Go of My Silence

It is with much reservation that I sit to type yet another word on Letting Go. More than all the others, this is the night that I most wanted to fling it all into deep waters and title my post "Letting Go of Letting Go".

It's been 24 days, and that's something. But I have nearly a week to go, and that's a whole 'nother something. So bear with me, if you would. We're in the homestretch. Maybe there's still a thing or two to learn.

I was alone in my car, driving to St. Louie when I knew for sure that I needed to write 31 Days of Letting Go. It all came to me in a rush and I jotted precariously at stop lights, returning home with a list where only 2/3 of the items made any sense at all.

Still, every single night, there's been something more to say.

I write these posts just as much for me as for you. I'm writing, as best I can, in real time. Each post is an honest assessment of what was likely weighing on my mind or lunging to be set free on that particularly day. Tonight, when I want so badly to just pack it all up, I'm reminded of where all of this really began.

It feels like a long time ago, and it was. Two years ago? Almost two? I don't know. All I remember is that I was sitting at my beloved Mazatlan with my friend Brooke. I'm not sure what preceded the conversation, but I remember saying, "I don't know why I don't blog much about my faith. I'm just not comfortable doing it. It' s not my thing."

I kid you not that within weeks, all bets were off and I was laying myself bare. What I didn't know that night, with my hand salty in the chip basket, was that I was months away from the upending of my world. I didn't have a stinking clue. Something small inside me shifted that night, then grew. I can't imagine this place any other way, now. How could I leave the biggest part of me unsaid? The real truth is, once I started talking, the truth got bigger. I put the words to page and then I fell in love. Truth is intoxicating like that. The more I told, the more I thought. The more I thought, the more I wanted.

What I have come to believe is that there's no solidarity in silence. I've never been encouraged by something I didn't hear. And in my vow of silence, I missed the most. I failed to really hear the bells clanging on the inside. I knew they were in there somewhere, but I never called them out to play. I didn't come face-to-face with them. We just kept to ourselves.

Sharing these closest places of my heart has felt risky. I've felt over-exposed, like I'm wearing the mini and the midriff, which is just never a good idea. I've had the urge to reign it in. I tried to tell myself on that long, glinting stretch across Illinois that I couldn't commit to 31 days of anything, and even if I could, it would have to be something funny or fun. After all, what could be more of a downer than day after day of letting go? 31 Days of Soup or Garlands sounded a whole lot more appealing.

I've missed yammering about the food I'm eating and the jokes I'm telling myself. But there's always November.

For now, I've been swept into a story, and I'm the only girl who can tell it, so that's what I'm here to do. And do. And do.

We have much to let go of, homies. It's stretching and scary and lonely and dizzying. But we won't be left empty-handed when the smoke clears. We'll look around at the cleaned out heart and notice how much bigger the place looks when the clutter's been hauled to the curb.

Share if you'd like, but promise me that you'll think about it hard and true: what is your silence costing you right now? What is the story that you're supposed to be telling? What is it that you need yourself to hear?

*For the rest of the Letting Go series, click here.