Leah Farmer

Personal perspectives on faith, literature, and life.

Enough: Learning to Listen

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For so long the filter process for my thoughts and actions has taken a long, windy road. Often these thoughts would get sidelined by anxiety-trolls, fear-gremlins, and tiny demons of doubt. As a child and younger person I would consume information, watch those around me, take it all in and then more often than not sit on my words and wait a little longer. Many times missing my opportunity to share an opinion for fear of judgement, chastisement, etc.

Those who know me as an adult know that I don’t miss a lot of opportunities these days to say what I think. I’m certainly not afraid in my professional life to speak up and give voice to what I think. In my social life as well I am wiling to express even the most unpopular opinion if it is truly what I believe.

People who have known me a long time know that it has been a journey to get to that place…the place of having a voice.

And the people who REALLY know me know that the cost of having that voice is two-fold:
(1) I still fight the battle of fear, self-consciousness, and doubt in my head often…though less and less so
(2) The risk, the effort, and the speaking can be exhausting which pushes me into solitude a lot and leaves me with a great need for quiet

As I contemplate my OneWord365 choice for 2014…ENOUGH…it occurs to me that I am slowly but surely conquering both of these costs. I am realizing that more and more that the voice in my own head is more rational. She’s kinder to me. And I’m learning to listen more eagerly when that voice speaks because I have had quite ENOUGH of the mean girl voice who wants to go to the mat every time I want/need to exert my voice.

It’s simple things. It’s listening to what I want and not judging it. It’s saying no to someone who asks me to “get over it” when I’m hurt, angry, and just not damn ready to get over anything because I need to go through those feelings. It’s giving myself the right to have an “out” in circumstances where I’m not entirely sure I’m safe. It’s listening to the little voice in my head that says “This person will push past your boundaries and take advantage of you” and trusting my own intuition. It’s hearing my heart speak confirmation when I meet a friend that I need in my life or when I let a friend go that is bad for me. It’s knowing that there are some things I am okay with putting up with for a season AND knowing that when the season ends I’ll be able to put an end to those things.

When my head says “It’s time to take the Christmas tree down” but my heart says “Please could we have a few more days”…doing the thing that eases my heart because there is ENOUGH time to take the tree down another day.

When a friend says “When will you stop being angry?” and I say “I don’t know” because it is okay to expect an apology, or to be treated with respect, or ENOUGH space to heal from their wounding.

When the people I work with want more and more of me and my perfectionist nature sides with them but my body, mind, and spirit say “We cannot work this weekend. We just CANNOT do it” and I listen because I know that my body is asking for ENOUGH rest to rejuvenate between tasks.

When my hand goes to smooth my unruly hair to put the renegade curl in it’s place over and over again, and the 6 year old in me rises up and gets loud and says “ENOUGH. Mom fretted over that curl and by God WE WILL NOT” and I stop brushing it away and let my hair do it’s thing.

When I’ve changed my clothes over and over and over and finally I catch the frown on my face and my tender self says “Stop. You look lovely. Go out into the world” and I opt to listen to her instead of try on one more thing because I’m  quite ENOUGH as I am.

I’m learning to listen…and the spirit inside me has ENOUGH sense to move me to the best place. I choose to trust her ENOUGH.

 

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