Raising my voice on behalf of our disabled son came naturally – I was his mother. His dad and I saw his disability rights as basic human rights. So we spoke his name along with our names on behalf of him. For me, writing was as natural as breathing, but learning to speak my name (on paper) in an even louder voice felt bigger than it deserved. For this introvert, initially, sharing it took a lot of effort. In reality I was being an extrovert on paper. And then one day, one miraculous moment in time, I looked up from the page I had just written and the audience behind me had disappeared. Just like that I’d discovered another layer of my worth.
Slowly and suddenly my memoir began taking shape. It formed itself from raw, real emotions. Recalling twenty-three years of our son’s life stirred up the dust in my memory place. Thoughts on love and joy, courage and compassion, death and grief, celebrating diversity, and how to live a life after the loss of a child began forming themselves from a fully fed well deep in my soul. And the more I wrote, the more it replenished itself.
Eventually, in the most thorough and freeing manner, I came to realize what it means to truly know your worth – that’s it’s not a one time fix. That it’s not a fix at all! And that it shouldn’t end when you’re 40, 50, or even 60 and beyond! Wink. Knowing your worth takes a lot of practice in our ever evolving cycle of life.
Knowing your worth is worth the work!
In preparation for sending out an indecent amount of queries/submissions next week, I spent this week re-reading my memoir and I feel even more excited and hopeful than the last time I read it.
Knowing your worth is defined in tentative beginnings and spoken even louder as you finish each one. And anyone who tries to diminish either of your efforts is simply not worth it.
Never stop beginning.
Never stop finishing.
Never stop raising your voice.
Never stop speaking your name.
Never stop knowing your worth.