I didn’t come from a household of emoters or yellers. Unlike many of my friend’s families, my parents never fought in front of us, and when correcting us they rarely raised their voices. I was a quiet, introverted kid from a quiet, introverted household. As I grew into my teen years, I started to experiment a little more with words. In an argument with my parents over a perceived injustice, I might raise my voice. I might say something I would later regret to one of my siblings. I might, in a daydream of imagined confidence, actually say what I meant to say at precisely the right moment, only in my head. Never out loud.
I experimented with all of these things occasionally, but they never moved outside my home to the world at large. I didn’t use my words for much. I kept them locked up in an airtight vault, and my husband was the only one possessing the key. He became the recipient of the words I banked away, but that great wealth of words often tumbled out in a chaotic mess. My expression of them didn’t always indicate what I really felt in the deepest part of me. That place was hard to find without the words to lead people there.
I came to writing late. I came to it when I had no more words for the people in my life, when all of my questions and answers and emotions rushed at the keyhole with such a force they blocked the only way inside. I didn’t realize it at the time, but the day I pulled out my first college ruled notebook and placed a pen in my hand, I also held the master-key. The first blank page and every blank page after it unlocked something inside of me. It’s as simple and as complicated as that.
When we talk about speaking life, we think of all the words we say and we want to shove them into the “good” or “bad” corner. We hope the majority of our words end up in the good category, because these foster love and lead to life. We can all agree that silencing a sharp and bitter tongue is a good thing. However, silencing everything, burying our words because we believe they don’t matter, hiding behind the quiet while the words war inside can be deadly. It can kill a relationship stone cold dead. It can kill you. Speaking life sometimes means saying the hard things, the I don’t want to admit this things, the ugly things.
I hope you have someone or something that serves as a blank page for you, a place to lay everything out in the open, so hidden words don’t rot on the inside while waiting to make their way out. I hope you know who holds the key. I hope your life speaks, and the words flow easy and free.
This post is the third in a series called 31 Days of Speaking Life. Want to know more about the 31 Days writing challenge? Hop on over here. Want to receive these posts via email straight into your inbox? Sign up below.