Sunday, June 19, 2011

Speak Less by Laura Kimball #Trust30 (Day 20)

What I must do is all that concerns me, not what the people think. This rule, equally arduous in actual and in intellectual life, may serve for the whole distinction between greatness and meanness. It is the harder, because you will always find those who think they know what is your duty better than you know I. - Ralph Waldo Emerson

I once received a fortune cookie that read: “Speak less of your plans, you’ll get more done.” What’s one project that you’ve been sitting on and thinking about but haven’t made progress on? What’s stopping you? What would happen if you actually went for it and did it?

My Response:

I am going to focus on the first sentence of the quote, for this is what is speaking to me today.

“What I must do is all that concerns me, NOT WHAT THE PEOPLE THINK.”

Since as far back as I can remember, especially in my childhood, ‘the people’ ruled my life.  They were the puppeteers and I was the puppet.  I was never given the opportunity to go through the stages of growth that should be encouraged by parents for their children.  I was never allowed to individuate or separate.  What I learned was to “See no evil. Hear no evil. Speak no evil.”   I am speaking of the evil that was happening to me; the destruction of my soul; the burying of my ‘self’.  I continue to bring up abuse, because every day I see what it has done to me and to others.  I continue to experience its aftereffects.  Also, this was the original purpose of this blog--to help raise awareness and to be an advocate against abuse with my voice.

The statistics are staggering.  Check them out for yourselves:  http://www.d2l.org/site/c.4dICIJOkGcISE/b.6035035/k.8258/Prevent_Child_Sexual_Abuse.htm

During my transformation from baby, to toddler, to teen, to adult, I never realized I could follow my own thoughts.    I was obligated to do what ‘the people’ wanted from me.  This theme followed me throughout my life.  I believed I had no control over my life and the course it took.  I either lived like a robot or a subservient.  I was programmed to act certain ways, to do certain things.  People and situations controlled my ‘on/off’ switch.  Those of you with D.I.D. (and maybe others also) will understand the term ‘switch’.  I became the many masks that I created.

I am not even certain I knew I had my own thoughts until I was thirty three years old.   I was cowering in a corner with a gun in my hands, with my daughter upstairs asleep.  She had just turned ten years old.  This was one of the several suicidal moments I have survived; what lay ahead of me was a fork in the road.  The next day I checked myself into a psychiatric hospital and life as I knew it ceased to exist. 

This past December, another fork in the road presented itself.  Out of pain and anger, I left the ‘teacher’ I had been with for many years.  It was not an impulsive act, for I had been contemplating this act for at least a year, possibly more.  But, my ‘friend’ FEAR, kept me frozen solid.  I had already begun seeing my new 'teacher' for family counseling.  She told me that I would know when the time was right.  When I left, I did not look back.  I realized that what I had been doing for all these years, was not working any longer.  Much to my chagrin, once again, I was covered with the slimy, green algae of stagnation.  It was time to add ‘shock’ to the water, perform a ‘backwash’, and add some chlorine.  Enter a new teacher and not for family counseling!

Now, I am still trying to discover who I am in this world.  I feel more aware.  I see more options.  As I have said before, the growth I have experienced with her in such a short time is stupendous. 

Since Junior High, ‘Desiderata’ has been one of my favorite poems.  I have always felt drawn to it.  I could never understand why it always touched me so deeply.  Suddenly, it has all become clear.  Suddenly, I see this is ‘what I must do’.


 Go placidly amid the noise and the haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.

As far as possible, without surrender,
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even to the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons;
they are vexatious to the spirit.

If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain or bitter,
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs,
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals,
and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love,
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment,
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be.
And whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life,
keep peace in your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

I have finally come to the end of this spiel!!  “A brocheh” for the reader!



  1. Now I know what it feels like to behold a being breaking out of it's "shell." You have lauded me for my honesty in things that I've posted. I am much more than honored to return the favor and thank you for the beholding. Your magnificence is shining forth and it is bright, indeed.


  2. You are a survivor! I see the beautiful authentic you coming through in every post. Thank you for sharing your beautiful soul so honestly and passionately.

  3. To BOTH 'Rich'es! Thank you for sharing and supporting me on this journey. In the beginning of the #Trust30, I doubted that I would ever finish! Now, the time left is so short and I will miss it so! Take care!

  4. This post was amazing. That poem was amazing. YOU are amazing for sharing this. My eyes literally watered while reading this post...
    "I never realized I could follow my own thoughts."
    I empathize with that statement more than you. I look forward to reading more from you.

  5. Dearest Nico, I hold you close to my heart. Not because I feel sorry for you, but because I find you pure at heart and your honesty extraordinary beautiful. Thank you for the directness and and the stamina you possess. Archetypally (that is the way we use and manage our power) your story speaks so loud beyond the words that I sob with deep respect.

    The poem is fantastic. I have never read or heard it before. While I read your post I thought about another poem that I have carried with me, almost as a prayer. Maybe I said it in a previous post, if so forgive for my "nagging" :) But Nelson Mandela is a person I admire too and he read it and kept it close to his heart while enduring imprisonment for 27 years. INVICTUS by William Henley. In the movie with the same title, Morgan Freeman is portraying Mandela. He recites the poem and I hope you can hear it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nv2Thlik6ck

    Anyway, I am overwhelmed by your words. Thank you.

    In'Lakesh, Michi