Using My Voice
A few years ago when I went to the International Women's Summit in Phoenix, I connected with a woman who had just started a blog. We became Facebook friends, the kind of friends who like and comment on each other's photos every now and then, but that's about it. At least that's what I thought.
Turns out, she has taken her blog to the next level and recently started a podcast. Her content aims to help people embrace life and all its ups and downs as a single person. Turns out, she has been following my blog. Turns out, she thinks my voice might resonate with her podcast listeners. And so yesterday, she interviewed me! Can I tell you how much fun that was?! I'll post an update and a link to the podcast when it's ready!
Using my voice has another, deeper meaning for me right now too. My ex and I are at odds. Without getting too specific, we are interpreting some of the language from our divorce document very differently. So differently in fact, that for the first time in my life, I finally agreed to seek legal advice. Yes, I've been through 2 divorces. No, I didn't use an attorney either time. If I'm seeing an attorney now, you know it's a big deal.
It's a big deal mostly because I am so afraid of my ex's disappointment. I've never been willing to stand in the discomfort of his disapproval. I always sought to maneuver my thoughts and emotions until I saw his point of view. That's a great skill to have. Sometimes. But if I'm using that skill to avoid his judgement rather than to offer support, I'm ultimately abandoning myself. Deep thoughts!
When I got a note from him outlining his disapproval and expectations, my immediate reaction was to shrink and figure out how to comply.
Thank God for the life lessons of the last 2-3 years. One of the key things I've learned is to be patient. Be patient because more will be revealed. Be patient because clarity will come. Be patient because the circumstances may change. Be patient because my initial reaction is just that, a reaction. I'm in the business of responding vs reacting these days.
So, I gave myself the gift of time, and you know what? More was revealed. Clarity did come. And, my desire to react gradually evolved into finding my own voice again. A voice that whispered to me that his interpretation of my intentions doesn't make it the gospel truth. He can speak what is true for him. I honor that. AND, I have my own truth. But I still had questions...
After dragging my feet (big time), I scheduled a meeting with the attorney. And it was fine. In fact, there was nothing negative about it. I was so afraid that seeking advice would mean I was somehow gunning for a fight. Nope. I just wanted information. 30 minutes and $175 later, and that's exactly what I had. Zero animosity. Tons of validation. Not a bad trade-off.
I went in fully willing to hear that I needed to course-correct. I gave myself time to feel good at a soul level, but if I needed to do something different according to the law, I was 100% willing. That in and of itself was a miracle. And in the end, the attorney said I didn't need to do a damn thing.
So here's where I am today: My own truth compels me to respond.
I am still afraid of his disapproval, yet not enough to silence my voice. The whisper is getting louder, but I'm not there quite yet. So I remain patient. I've gotten feedback from some of my most trusted friends. I have a rock solid legal opinion. I am secure in my integrity. I have crafted my response. I have re-crafted my response. Ugh. Confession: I am still re-crafting it.
I will hit send. I will hit send this week. It will scare the crap out of me, but here's what I also know. It will feel so freaking good to speak up for myself. No matter the outcome. No matter the judgement. No matter the financial impact. I speak for me. I root for me. I believe in me. My voice is beautiful.