Stories that Matter

This New Revolution

Whoa. It’s been awhile.

I’ve been off at my happy place the past few weeks. Our lakeside hideaway in Northern Ontario. And it wasn’t quite the holiday we were expecting, with family illness that added some stress to what was supposed to be a stress-free time. But such is life. You move through it. You deal. And we did. Enjoyed some peace and quiet when we could, hung out with family, and spent some time alone, reconnecting after a crazy busy time, before heading home and getting back on the roller-coaster of life, with a promise to live it out more intentionally.

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So I’ve been contemplating the whole should I blog or not blog thing again. You know? Because I never know who’s reading this unless someone comments, and I get all insecure and uptight and think, wow, I’m putting myself out there and for what? Nobody wants to hear all this. And maybe I shouldn’t be saying all these things online, giving unknowns a glimpse into my personal thoughts, fears, hopes and dreams. Because what if they don’t get it and I come across as a big whiny baby or they don’t see the heart behind the words and the intent to encourage, and all they see is someone insignificant?

Yep. Someone Insignificant.

Maybe you know that person too.

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I’ve alluded to this before, but since the new year, I’ve been in a battle. It’s been an up and down time, nasty and scary and downright hard, and I’ve wanted to quit fighting so many times … but somehow, I didn’t. I didn’t quit because I knew if I gave up, then it’d all be over. I’d stay in that dark place and replay all the old tapes that say things like you’ll never make it, you’ll never be good enough, you’re not … this … that … you fill in the blank from your own stash.

I wish I could tell you what happened. Why all of a sudden the darkness broke and I crawled out of the muck and mire and finally stood, still breathing, smiling, tipped my face to the sun and just believed … I’m sure it was a culmination of friends praying and pulling me through and God of course, doing his thing, and my own stubbornness that finally refused to give the enemy any more ground.

So I’m here to tell you that if I can do this, you can too. I’m writing it down. Writing this blog post to encourage you, whoever you are, wherever you are on this journey. Because we need each other. I know I can’t do this thing alone. Maybe right now you think you can. I hope you find out you’re wrong.

In this time of seeking and searching, I’ve discovered a new revolution. I’m sure it’s been around awhile, I just haven’t been looking. But I’ve come to realize there’s an army of brave women out there, very much like myself, who’ve come through the battle and lived to tell the tale. And they’re sharing those stories. Creating community. Living the thing out.

Some, like Brené Brown, Glennon Doyle, Ann Voskamp, Jen Hatmaker, they’re doing it publicly, with thousands of followers, books and YouTube videos to their name. Others, like you and me, maybe we’re not so much in the spotlight, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have a voice or that we can’t be heard.

I matter. 

You know what those 2 words mean to me?

Everything.

Victory.

That’s what it comes down to. Overcoming insecurity and the inherent behaviors that only lead to self-deprecation, and the destruction of the soul – it’s not an easy assignment. Today I can sit here and write that word – victory and mean it. Tomorrow I might not feel it. But I’ll do it anyway. Because it’s the knowing that I’m not alone, knowing that I belong, knowing that I am loved, and even needed, hard as that still is to take in, it’s what keeps me going.

Transitioning from turning inward to reaching out … that’s where I’m at. So it’s about being vulnerable, being brave and moving forward. Saying the words anyway, even if nobody’s listening. Speaking out instead of shutting up. Loving more. Living whole-heartedly, intentionally. It’s about choice.

And I choose to believe I can.

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So I’ll keep blogging, even if it’s just for me. Because I need to remember this. Those moments from the past that shape the future. And I think it’s okay to share all that. To be open and honest. There are too many liars in this world.

We need more truth tellers. More women, and men, willing to rise to the challenge and speak up, speak out and stand for what’s good and right and honorable.

I want to be one of them.

And whether my words reach only a few or a hundred, they’re out there. And maybe they’re giving hope. Healing. Because they’ve come at a cost, you see. You know nothing comes for free. But when you’ve come through the other side, with that hard-won victory in hand, you can’t help but want to share it. Not only is it a privilege, but I believe it’s a requirement.

So I’ll share my words, my heart, my hope, and trust you with it.

Not an easy thing to say from someone used to putting up steel barricades. I’m well-schooled in the art of self-preservation. And maybe it’s still a gamble, this whole letting people in thing. But so far so good. I’ve got some keepers in my life, and God knows I can’t do it without them.

I don’t think I was ever meant to.

And I’m good with that.

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Just My Thoughts. 

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10 Comments

  1. micksilva on August 24, 2015 at 3:26 pm

    I’m listening. “That’s what it comes down to. Overcoming insecurity…” I need all the help I can get.

    • Cathy West on August 24, 2015 at 4:02 pm

      Don’t we all! Glad we can all walk the journey together.
      “I get by with a little help from my friends…”

  2. Andrew Budek-Schmeisser on August 24, 2015 at 4:49 pm

    You hold up a challenging mirror, Cathy.

    I don’t think that anyone who’s read even one of your posts would find you insignificant, much less whiny. You address tough questions of self-confidence, self-expression, and the writer’s profession, and you do it with skill, depth, and wit. You’re willing to share your own experience as a lens through which we view the questions in detail, and incorporate your experiences into our own lives.

    You’re right that we can’t to it alone; I’ll freely admit that my blog readers are a large part of what keeps me going. No one in the immediate ‘physical circle’ much cares what I write, or THAT I write; I’m seen as ‘the dying guy’, with some degree of condescension. It’s ironic that those who provide the bulk of my emotional support will never meet me.

    You do make a difference, Cathy. A big one.

    • Cathy West on August 24, 2015 at 8:40 pm

      That is the beauty of the internet. Although it has many dark sides, the fact that we can connect with fellow sojourners and provide support, is to me, a true gift. I have many friends that I’ve made online, many of which I may never meet this side of heaven, but I’d be lost without them. Thanks as always for your kind words. 🙂

  3. Ann Ellison on August 25, 2015 at 12:17 pm

    Enjoyed reading this. You are so right – we can’t do it on our own. I am so thankful for those that have been there for me when I needed them the most and for God’s love and grace in my life every day.

  4. Jenelle. M on August 25, 2015 at 10:34 pm

    Girl, I believe I you! And you know what’s that worth 😉

    • Jenelle. M on August 25, 2015 at 10:35 pm

      I believe in you, in you. Sheesh. But at least I have a great reason as to why my brain is half missing.

      • Cathy West on August 26, 2015 at 8:48 am

        Yes, you do! Thanks for taking the time to stop in! 🙂

  5. Jennifer Zarifeh Major on September 1, 2015 at 1:26 pm

    I read this last week, but didn’t have the wifi to post. Long story. Basically, sometimes it worked, and most of the time it blanked, or wouldn’t load comments.
    But, wow. THIS is what I needed to absorb right now THIS morning in particular!!!
    As ALWAYS, WOW.

    • Cathy West on September 1, 2015 at 3:25 pm

      Glad you are back in the land of the living. Where there is wifi. 🙂
      And SEE YOU SOON!!!! WOOHOO!!!
      Thanks as always for reading!

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