The flashing line. He sits there, in front of me. Every time I stop typing, he’s there. Waiting for me to type another letter. This flash only stops when I give in to the demand for words. And only by turning off my computer, and indeed my phone and tablet, can I avoid it completely.
But sometimes we just sit. We wait. With a white screen in front of us, and just a line.
Flashing. Waiting. Teasing and taunting us.
Many of us don’t write because we think we have nothing to say. Or we think what we do have to say doesn’t matter, or won’t be good enough, or people will think is ridiculous.
But other times, in fact, more than we’d care to admit, we don’t write because we’re scared.
In fact, we’re terrified.
We can bury this fear with other writing. Or distractions. Social media is a favourite. Many a time I’ve found myself ready to write something difficult, and I’ve somehow, magically almost, found something else to occupy my time.
But I’ve come to see sitting down at a laptop and beginning to type the words into that open document, is one of the most courageous acts a person can do.
This is because true, authentic writing, the writing which matters, the writing which is the most powerful, always comes from the darkest depths of our soul. The places we’d rather not go. Or maybe don’t even realise exist.
We can write cowardly, or machine like, if we wish. Writing to impress. Writing designed merely to gain numbers or make money, to market and promote. This requires little courage.
But authentic, powerful writing, the writing which resonates which most of us, the writing which is true? This requires courage.
Writers often use phrases like ‘the well is dry’ and “I can’t find the words’ . The former statement is a lie, the second is true. For the well is bottomless…it’s just you’ve got to a place where light no longer permeates, where you’ve never been before.
So the words are clouded in darkness. And you’re afraid to go in.
You’d rather just write the easy words than the truth. Rather keep the well in darkness then light the well.
Problem is, once the easy words run out – which they always do – you are still left with the truth in the darkness of the well. Which is crying to be lit, trying to be exposed to the world.
I’ve been in these places. I’ve sat at my laptop thinking I’ve nothing to say. Wondering how I’ll do my daily writing. And just the act of typing one letter, forming these letters into words, and somehow forming sentences and telling stories, is an act of tremendous courage.
For we are going into the unknown.
We are delving into areas of our being hitherto not seen, heard, explored. And which may have echoes of our past, of forgotten pain, or unresolved issues you never knew you had.
But go there we must.
Why? Because writing these stories out, bearing our heart and at once discovering it, brings light to the truth. And once light is shed on these emotions, stories, experiences, thoughts, it cannot be taken away. Once we know these truths about ourselves, we cannot un-know them.
And this is good.
It allows us to deal with what needs to be dealt with. To receive healing and restoration. To forgive what needs to be forgiven. To forgive ourselves if needs be. To begin the process of fixing what needs fixing.
Giving The Truth Oxygen
Writing has been tremendously theraputic for me. It’s got me to go deep into my soul and explore insecurities, fears, doubts and issues from my past, and to be completely honest about them. It’s allowed to bring darkness into the light, and move forward with my life.
Most of these pieces have never been published, some have. For example, I was able to write my late Mum a letter saying thank you for all she did for me, for who she was, and telling her I needed to move forward with my life, as she would have wanted.
No one has ever read this. But it was liberating. Because when we create, we can lay down burdens, and be set free from issues which have weighed us down for years
I always hope the lessons I learn, the experiences I have, can help others. It’s not always the case
But publishing them was never the point.
The point was to write, to create, and to bring what was inside to light.
Yes, writing from our heart is painful. Allowing the truth the oxygen of our words can be one of the most courageous things we ever do. (you can tweet that)
But those words can also bring great healing to our souls.
And it matters not how many ever read those words. Maybe it will only be us who ever reads them. But if we have written them, they have life. Light will be shone on a previously unknown part of our soul. We will know ourselves better, and worse.
Better, as we will see something new.
And worse, because the more we know the more we realise how little we know, not just of ourselves, but of all things.
But this is the beauty of writing, of words. It, they, allow us to explore our hearts. To go boldly where no person has ever gone, where at most only one or two people may ever go apart from ourselves.
Words give life. Words shine light. Words set us free.
And because they do, they require courage.
You don’t have to be a blogger or a published author, to be able to write out your story. Anyone with a phone, tablet or laptop can open a word processing document, type it, save it, and put it away where no one will see it. Or even hand write it and put in a private place. Everyone has a story to share, has depths which need exploring. Writing can be healing for us all, if we have to courage to share our heart.
I hope I can be courageous, rather than cowardly, with my words. For my own sake, and for the sake of those who read my work. Because it’s only if I’m courageous, that I’ll be speaking the truth. And the truth is where the life is.
Are you willing to shine a light in the darkness and share your heart?
The choice is yours.
Question For Reflection:
Do you confront the darkness within? And are you courageous enough to do it?
Let me know in the comments below!
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(Picture – Online Source)
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