Monday, March 2, 2009

The Filter Is Broken

This little entry discusses something that really is not an original idea by me. (Thank you, dear Danica.) But it surely fits. First, a little background.

As a white female child in the 1950s and a teenager in the 1960s in heartland U.S.A., I was taught to speak in socially acceptable ways. I was dutifully taught not to "color outside the lines". This became a cautionary tale, where I was always thinking about what I was to say and couching it in some kind of script approved by the big people around me and a staunchly patriarchal society.

That approach was common during those times and led me to some very contradictory experiences which I had difficulties reconciling. I carefully chose words so that I could be heard and not offend. Sometimes my tongue would get all tangled up, because I couldn't quite say exactly what I meant. In those years, I became a bit befuddled because sometimes I was not even sure what I meant.

The approved script tied me in a nice knot. I would say one thing but not necessarily speak the truth that I knew in my heart. I became increasingly frustrated, sad and angry because the world around me would not allow me to speak what was in my heart. This approach became a huge filter, or rather a muzzle, over my true voice and over me.

Decades passed. Times changed. I changed. Now I can say that I have officially quit. It may be a reality of becoming 60. I just cannot do that any more. It didn't work then and it does not work now. What I mean comes out in straightforward language. Sometimes I laugh, because it comes out more quickly than I would have expected. I just cannot and will not hold my voice back. And no, I do not expect to force my world view upon another. It is just the way I feel about it. Such an approach makes it way easier to have a conversation with another who is speaking from their heart as well.

Others may say that they always felt my filter was broken. In the last 2 decades, I surely have been breaking out of this tightly bound script. During that time, an inner voice still continued to dismiss that expression of my emergent truth. I can proudly report that the inner voice has changed. She celebrates with glee the reality that is the consistent internal and external expression of me.

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