“Hey you!” I called my friend from the car on my way to pick up kids from school. “I have this great idea I want to bounce off of you.”
Her voice came through loud and clear on the hands free. “What’s up, you?” I could almost hear her smiling across the miles.
I shared my idea with her. It was the first time in a long time I had felt excited about a long writing project. I write blog posts and guest posts and articles left and right, but a long project? The past year had been a sad series of false starts and stops. For whatever reason, I just couldn’t get pas the outlining phase of anything.
I was both happy and excited and I thought I really had something good.
“Hmm.” She thought out loud. “So you feel qualified to write about that?”
It wasn’t an overly negative question; a simple push-back perhaps. She was challenging me and I appreciate that. But I guess, thinking back on it, I’d wanted her to be excited with me too.
A few minutes later I hung up with her, got my kids and headed home.
It wasn’t a conscious choice, but I never touched that project again. It’s been well over a year.
More recently someone asked me where I was on book-writing and all that comes along with that. It’s always a dreaded question because I’m always at the same place the last time someone asks: nowhere. I recounted that story of the car phone conversation and in the process was able to trace my giving up to that single day.
It wasn’t my friend’s fault. She was simply asking a question.
But I’d allowed her to steal my wings.
I let her voice become too loud in my life and the warm air of excitement I was rising on was cut off because I let her words stop me. I let her steal the wings that I’d been given for a purpose.
Her voice became louder than the one inside me telling me to press on even when I felt like giving up.
I’ve done that over and over in my life. I’ve let the loud voices have too much sway and shape on my present and my future.
You’re too sensitive.
You’re too young. You’re too old.
You’re a girl.
You’re too busy.
I want to listen to the right voices; the ones that love me and have my best interests in mind.
You’re the right kind of sensitive because you understand the emotional climate of a room. You are qualified because you have a passion for it. You are just the right age. The fact that you are a woman makes you qualified in ways men are not. You will always be busy, but you can find the time for the right things.
And you? Don’t listen to the strong voices. The ones that don’t really love you. The ones that don’t SEE you. Don’t listen to the voices that make you question your worth or your qualifications. Don’t listen to the voices that want you to be silenced.
And by all means don’t listen to the voices that want to steal your wings. You were given wings for a purpose; use them.
Listen to the people who want to see you fly! Listen to the ones who want your best days, who will love you at any cost. Listen to the ones who know you well and see you true and love you with big hearts. Listen to those, today, and let those voices shape you.
Have you let someone steal your wings? What voices are the best ones for you to listen to?