May 16, 2009

Day 12 New Friend- Words of Affirmation

In the wee hours last night I had what my husband refers to as “a dark night of the soul”. I suddenly decided that all the decisions I had ever made in my life had were wrong, that no one believed in me, and that none of my dreams would come true. It was not a logical state, there was nothing rational about any of it. It was not dissimilar, I imagine, to a bad acid trip, though thankfully without hallucinations, and I was eventually able to sleep. These fearful and deluded introspections often happen at turning points as I peer over the edge of my life into the teeming void of my future. I suspect this is a normal phenomenon that happens to many. I, though, have a very fertile imagination and when I use it for evil instead of good...well I can come up with all sorts of terrible stories! I woke up this morning hung-over from a night of doubts and dread. It took me a while of lying in bed, blinking, staring at the ceiling to come back to reality. Why had I been filled with so much self doubt the night before? Why had it taken hold in the way it did, sucking me into a cycle of beration and negative self talk?

Once I emerged from my room I went to the farmers market with my family. I stopped at a stall run by my lovely friend Rachel, a talented goddess with a gentle fairy way. With genuine love she told me how much she was enjoying my blog. That she liked to make herself a warm drink and sit down with uninterrupted time to read. And that she had been inspired by the project to write 10 Open Heart Letters. Ok, so here is real live proof that this project was not a “wrong decision”. Besides Rachel I was surrounded by many other womyn friends, new and old, who tell me constantly they support me, believe in me, are conspiring towards my success.

After leaving the market I bumped into another friend, one who I dance with and knows of Soul Motion, the movement ministry I am working towards facilitating. I told her of an opportunity that recently came into my life, to work with a group to facilitate an ecstatic movement practice. I told her of all the fears that were covering me, clouding my vision. Asked if she would support me. She said “I already do! I so know you are just the person to lead this kind of group!”. More proof that my community supports me.

Next I walk into a local Hemp shop where a friend has recently hung her artwork. She tells me, as I admire the clean simple lines, that I am a big part of her art going up on the wall; that in encouraging her to do so she felt supported to take the leap. She spoke of overcoming fears with her art work, I spoke about my fears of leading a group in movement. She then tells me she can’t wait to dance in a space where I am facilitating. More love and support, more affirmation that I am on the right path.

As if all this loving encouragement was not enough, I then have yet another conversation to counter my fearful prostration from the night before. I am told that I exude confidence. This friend says he had no idea I EVER didn’t believe in my abilities to do ANYTHING. He was blown away that I was experiencing self doubt, said I ”hid it well“.

So why? WHY? Why with all this evidence to the contrary, is the dark side of my mind so bloody believable in those moments where I doubt all that I am? I know that likely tomorrow it will be clear, my answer to this question will come. For right now though what I really want to say is, THANK YOU friends! THANK YOU family! THANK YOU community for supporting me, for speaking your love for me. I really do need this. I recently had a bit of a running joke with a friend about ”Love Languages“. According to Dr. Gary Chapmen there are 5 of them. After a short online quiz I determined my love language is “Words of Affirmation”, meaning I need verbal encouragement. To all of you today who saw my need , whether you did so consciously or not...thank you, your support means the world to me. Not only that but it inspired the new 12 day commitment which begins tomorrow...but you will have to wait to find out.

12 days journal # 33 will be going out dancing with me tonight. I am confident that being amongst my many beautiful, talented, and intelligent womyn friends that we will meet more than a few strangers on the dance floor. Inside the front cover it reads, “In what ways do you receive support from your friends and family?”.


  1. It always surprises me when I hear of the doubts of others who I thought were sure to be OK. I thought I was the only one with serious doubts, and recently in a conversation I realized that nothing less than world wide fame would be enough to reassure me. So if that came about it would be really cool, but I still have this feeling that even if I was in my mansion, basking in the glory of it all, those same doubts would somehow work their way into my conciousness. Ah well, it would still be interesting and fun to find out.

  2. I get the tough, ass kicking love that I need to get out of my death spirals.

  3. I just HAD to go look up Chapman and the love language descriptions; I'm a blend of Word Of Affirmation and Quality Time.

    With my kids, since we already spend a lot of time together, I appreciate the little "I love you"s, and especially when my toddler puts his arm around my neck, pulls me in close, gives me a grin, and says, "Mom, I really like you." I wish there was an emoticon to express a heart melting!

    With friends, it's the quality time thing, even if the only thing that fits into their schedule is a phone conversation, that still feels like quality time. Knowing they took time out of their busy schedules to yak with me means a lot.