Friday, June 5, 2015
As any one who often speaks too loud with dramatic flair can attest, there is a common saying used as the polite way of telling someone to shut up or quiet down.
"Use your inside voice."
As any survivor can attest, there is also a deeper level of quietness that goes beyond that. This is your Library Voice. A voice more hushed than any other.
All you have to do is imagine a diminutive, yet stern librarian, her glare like daggers, ordering silence, to understand the completeness of this level of the quiet down decree.
Survivors both benefit from and loathe this voice.
On the one hand:
When we need to rant, rave and vent, it's incredibly frustrating to be contained.
When we need an outlet to talk things out, it's hurtful to be told we can't share.
When we need to seek knowledge and ask questions, it's damaging to be told to keep quiet.
When we need to speak up, it's wrong to be told to shut up.
When we need someone to listen to our struggle, it's disheartening to be silenced.
When we need the support of another, it's devastating to go unheard.
On the other hand:
When we need to soothe the turmoil inside us, it is calming to seek a quiet place within.
When we need space to sort things out, it is helpful to take a private moment without chaos.
When we need to reconnect with who we are, it is powerful to take the time to collect ourselves.
When we need to contemplate and prepare for the battle, it is vital to steal the time to review our situation.
When we need to push back the loneliness, it is imperative we have a safe place to invite someone in to nurture and inspire us with understanding.
When we need to listen to our heart, it is necessary to hush the noise around us enough to find the sound of its beat.
As in a real room surrounded by books, our Library Voices can be their most positively potent when we have the chance to share the camaraderie of whispers, and at their most destructively negative when we get stifled by silence.
The key is to keep and embrace your Library Voice, but in a library of your own making.
Build the library you need to survive. Brick by brick. Personalize it to your needs. Don't allow yourself to be shushed by others, but give yourself all the quiet you need to heal.
Stock the aisles with your thoughts and feelings. Arrange the shelves with the pages and chapters of your own story. File the catalog of who you are in a way which lets you find yourself again when you are lost. Invite others to share and enhance your collection, but throw out the pages they may add which tear you down. Lock the world out when you need to stroll the stacks alone. Contemplate in peace.
Close your eyes and inhale the wisdom of the stories within, like aged cherished paper. Run your hands down the binding, feeling how it all is held together. Feel the safety of never being alone, because your thoughts keep you company.
Libraries are beautiful, special places. Your voice within is also unique and beautiful. You are special. Find your voice, no matter how quiet. Fill every page of every book with the story of you and hold them close to your heart.
Don't be afraid to speak up or shut up. It is your library. Sing and laugh, or weep and yell, or temporarily hide or reveal as much as you want.
The books who live in the library of your own creation will never mind the ruckus or the meditation you utilize to create your road to recovery. Your Library Voice has the ability to speak to you the loudest.
Note: An interesting place to peruse books is Goodreads. Maybe there is an actual book there about the crisis you are facing which you can add to your library.