Sometimes I feel this voice inside crying. She’s been silenced over and over again. Sometimes she’s been silenced so many times that when I finally stop to listen, she’s forgotten what to say.
“What do you want from me?” I scream at her. Listening to so many voices -my children, my friends, other important people in my life, the world- has made me edgy and raw. When I finally answer her, my tone is piercing and hostile. She draws back from me. She can’t answer when I’m like this. I won’t hear her, anyway. So she’s silent for a while.
“HEAR ME!” I hear her cry again. Finally, I answer. Gently. I coax her, like a wounded cat from her hiding place in my soul.
“I’m here. What do you need?”
The answer is surprising. She needs to listen to me. She needs me to let go. She needs me to be free.
She is the creativity within. She is my passion. She is me. The real me. The one that hides when propriety is demanded, and sequesters herself away in my deepest parts when convention is required.
Sometimes – not often enough – I silence the voices outside to listen to the one within, and I realize that I’ve been censoring, gagging, muting her voice for far too long. When I finally listen, it can take days of coaxing and persuasion before she’s ready to be heard. When she speaks again, I realize with a panic how easily I could’ve lost her altogether. I can’t lose her. If I lose her, I lose me. Then I become what they want me to be. Proper, conventional, well-mannered, and dull. I can’t live dull.
Sometimes, I want to look out at the world around me, at the ones who demand propriety, convention, and manners, and cry out, “HEAR ME!”