It’s funny how God has a way of sending you confirmation and encouragement when your resolve may be wavering.
My mind is in overdrive making it hard for me to sleep. Doubts and relentless thoughts making it hard for me to get some shut eye for any long time. I got up and could not go back to bed, turned on the computer and then I saw Liz’s email with a video and I opened it up.
With the exception of my blogs, I’ve been offline for a bit in one part due to tech woes (think 4 computers since the start of the year) and other part working on my first workshop that drops on the 4th July. The workshop is about journaling, personal story telling and writing to heal. For me, this stuff is important. If I didn’t have pen, paper and the ability to express everything I was carrying deep within, I don’t know where I’d be today. During my time in an abusive marriage writing kept me sane and hopeful. I want to share its power with other women, too.
This post is a bit long – stay with me I’m going somewhere with this almost 4 AM post.
I live on an island where violence against women is prevalent. We see it all the time but no one really wants to talk about it. The Ministry did an advert to sensitize people and even that makes me sad because it was what some people see as a funny skit. I don’t understand why something so serious has to be trivialized, made funny, for people to notice it. Violence against women is serious. It warrants sober reflection. So the ad annoys me because I feel it misses the point.
When I share my story and the problems I encountered with the system – legal, ecumenical, etc. I don’t make light of it. It makes people uncomfortable, it makes my family a little concerned that people will treat me differently. I’ve had people come to me, always in private to say that the things I talk about make them uncomfortable. When I launched the blog on the anniversary of the beating that put me in the hospital’s surgical ward, and I shared my story on it, only one person commented on the blog but I got a slew of email with well wishes and about me ‘being brave‘. No one wanted to be seen as publicly commenting.
After the last beating from my husband that resulted in me having to do surgery and that relationship finally ending, I was determined that everything I’d been through could not be in vain. It had to serve a greater purpose and birth something new in my life. I started blogging and speaking to all who would listen and recently I created a project to help women engage in deep soul writing. In the upcoming workshop I want to share how writing saved me and help others to embrace the practice.
I’m excited and nervous all at the same time. But in the wee hours of Tuesday, those late night conversations that play in your head when you can’t sleep had me really rethinking it all. I was wondering why it is I keep putting myself out there, talking about the things that my community does not really want to hear and I started thinking the workshop should be cancelled. I mean, would the women who signed up really embrace journaling to heal? And who am I to even speak, write and share on this so important topic, anyways? Maybe this is the domain for the professionals. I’m no professional, I have no PHD or Masters in this. What really qualifies me? Why should anyone listen to me? Maybe I should spend my time and energies elsewhere? My mind kept going.
And then I turned on my laptop, I opened up Liz’s email and she started talking about how writing and journaling saved her and I just burst into tears. I really just lost it. There it was. At almost 4AM I got the encouragement and the sign I needed to know that the path I’m on is the right path and my experience, passion and desire to talk, share and empower probably is all the qualification I need.
Thank you, Liz. Thank you.
Carlana Charles is the visionary and editor-in-chief of FemmePowered. She is a womanist, writer, speaker, story midwife and facilitator of meaningful and engaging conversations. When she is not working in or on FemmePowered, she can be found resting, baking, reading or scribbling furiously in her journal whilst sipping wine or coffee, sometimes both at the same time. She is currently working on her first book and hopes to release it in September 2017.