Olly olly, oxen free! In the children’s game Hide and Seek, the players stay hidden until found or called to come out of their hiding spots. As adults, if we stay hidden we pay a high price for our invisibility. After listening to a recent news story about California Proposition 8, the voter initiative against gay marriage that’s about to be reviewed by the U.S. Supreme Court I was reminded of the price of invisibility.
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In addition Republican Senator Rob Portman just came out of the closet as a father of a gay son helped me realize that each of us, heterosexual and homosexual alike, is called upon regularly to “come out of the closet” in some way or another. I had to “come out” into the blogosphere when I started writing. Two years later I’m no longer shy about it.
I experienced fear about writing a newsletter. I’d been afraid to come out of the closet of not writing. I’ve doubted that I have something worthwhile to say, especially on a regular basis. I short-changed myself, not giving myself credit for my education, training and life experience.
We all have self-limiting beliefs, self-secret beliefs we carry around in our minds that keep us from acting in our own and the world’s best interest. While wrestling with my self-doubt about having something to say in a newsletter, I remembered another event in my life that required me to “come out” wherever I was and stop hiding in my own self-imposed closet.
I grew up in a house where children were “seen but preferably not heard.” I liked to sing but didn’t believe I had any talent. I wasn’t supported or encouraged to sing let alone speak up as a child, so I believed I didn’t have the right to speak up, let alone sing. I was also very shy so I wasn’t inclined to stick my neck out and be noticed.
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As an adult I joined a church choir and had a good time. Somebody told me about a voice class. Timidly and with a lot of fear I signed up for it. The class was a real struggle, an emotional, spiritual and physical struggle. My self-imposed belief about not being able to sing was so strong that I could not shape my mouth and vocal chords the way the teacher showed me. I wasn’t able to make a good vocal sound and improve my singing.
This struggle brought up a strong emotional reaction in me and I took this struggle to my own therapist and worked hard on it. Over the course of the year I was able to change my self-limiting belief and eventually I found my voice! And when I found my voice I could no longer be kept quiet. I claimed a little more of my power thus coming a little farther out of my own self-imposed closet.