I’ve been thinking much more today about this deep knowing, this deep, before-time wisdom that I know-that-I-know-that-I-know that I have; that I believe all women have. And I’ve been thinking much more about how/why it gets silenced.
I have a TON of theories. I also have my own stories. Here’s one:
When I was married, not at first, but later – maybe 2-3 years or so down the road – I began to get inklings that all was not well; that what I felt on the inside was not very consistent, with what I was expressing on the outside. This became manifest in lots of ways, but instead of talking about it or trying to bring the inside out, I held it in – fearful that my truest feelings (my deep knowing) would create chaos, disruption, misunderstanding and way more tension than either of us wanted to deal with.
As I held my deep knowing, my truth, my out-loud voice in, I shut down.
It would be easy for my to blame my ex for this; to say that if he’d had the capacity or desire/willingness to hear my deepest knowing(s) that this wouldn’t have happened. That may be true, but the reality is that I was the one who chose to remain silent. Yes, it’s complex. Yes, there were circumstances and realities and patterns that made that incredibly difficult. But no one was holding my tongue. No one was keeping me from naming my truth. Only me (and a million other experiences/learnings I’d had throughout life that had perpetuated and concretized that reality).
I was afraid. I could see the writing on the wall. I could anticipate the fallout. I could play the tape forward not just hours; but days, weeks, months, year. The idea of living those scenarios made my silence feel like sweet respite in comparison.
That was the myth.
And that’s the myth I know to be familiar for far more women than just me: suffering in silence is better than bearing the pain of splitting worlds open with your authentic voice, with your honesty, with your truth.
What would happen if one woman told the truth about her life? The world would split open.
This statement can be understood in the affirmative, but I’ve known it in the “negative,” as well; realizing that my truth would, indeed, split worlds open – mine, my husband’s, my childrens’ and more. So, better for me to keep the universe strapped together with the strapping down of my tongue, my voice, my heart.
I don’t say any of this in a self-critical way (or other-critical, for that matter). It’s familiar. It’s known. It’s even understandable. And it’s excruciating. As I look back on the 15 years of my marriage I can see – in crystallized moments – when I had opportunity to tell the truth. Indeed, worlds may have split open; but that could have ultimately been a good and beautiful thing. I will never know.
Today, as I’ve been thinking about my own deep knowing, I’ve also been thinking about how difficult it can be to acknowledge such, but even more, to speak it.
I finally did.
My world split open – in all the ways I feared and in amazing and powerful ways I could not have imagined. I am in a far different place. A place filled with truth-telling – no matter what. A place that feels like home, like me, like my wise/wild woman self.
But I get it. It’s hard to speak your deep knowing. And sometimes it’s hard to speak, period. But when you do, wizened women of old, wild women of old, raise up and roar. They celebrate. They cheer. They drink champagne and dance with abandon.
I can see their faces. I can hear their music. I want to be one of them – not just someday, but now.
So if you need to know you’re not alone in your deep knowing, in your silence, and even in your speaking, KNOW IT!