When I was growing up, I was condemned for the very thing I am most commended for now: expressing my truth and the depth of feeling that accompanies it. I don't hide anything. I let it all hang out. The darkness and the light gets equal play, and I choose to travel through both aspects of myself publicly. To many, it is an inspiration to see someone living and expressing her truth so fully, and to others, it can be downright annoying or just too damn much. And that's ok.
No one is for everyone. I'm for the sacred crop. The warriors and the seekers. The big-hearted and gentle souls. The believers. The questioners. The feelers. Those craving more.
And those who struggle to survive while aspiring to thrive.
Earlier this month when I wrote and spoke of my depression for all the world to read and hear, the written post, When You Just Want To Die, generated a great response on Facebook since (sadly) many could relate to that level of inner pain. And although I have never recorded a Mandyland Radio show while in a depressed state over the 4 years I've been on air, this show was an exception. My on-air break down was definitely not planned and I was not altogether sure I would even air it because it was so sad.
But my co-host, Sheena, thought it was raw and beautiful (she was even brought to tears during the show as I shared openly about wanting to die, and I knew that expressing my truth, no matter how painful, can only serve to liberate me, and hopefully another, in the process. So I took a chance and delivered it to the airwaves, and here was one reader's heart-warming response to it:
Mandy, as I sat at work today listening to your podcasts I broke down and cried as you spoke very, very openly with Sheena about your depression and the thought that you have had about wanting to end it all. It ripped my heart wide open. I cannot even begin to understand how sad your heart felt at that moment in time.
You were put on this earth to bring life to a beautiful daughter that is so wise and creative beyond her young years. You were put on this earth to bring love to all you touch with the words that flow from your fingers to keyboard and pen that is put out in the world for all to see. You were put on this earth to touch people with your voice as you string words of laughter and love.
I knew you in school growing up but did not hang out with you then. I lived in the same apartment building with you when Paige was so little. When I bumped into you that day in Zehrs and you gave me your business card and said you had written your first book and I started following you on Facebook and then to your podcasts, I have been following you ever since.
I fell in love with your soul, your spirt, your laughter and your love. You inspire everyone you touch with your words and love. And for that Mandy I am very blessed and honored to call you a true friend.
Every time I hear you mention my name in a podcasts or on Facebook post my heart melts with love because I understand that I have done my duty on earth and put forth my love to all I touch. As I write this I keep tearing up cuz I'm glad you're here and your heart has grown with the love that others have enlightened you with and to hear even in your voice a complete turn around in one podcast to the next it made me SMILE BIG.
I would now like to stand up and give you a standing ovation and clap loud for rising up giving more of your beautiful words and wisdom to us all.
Love your friend Sherrie xoxo
Understandably, I was brought to tears by Sherrie's message. How could I not be? Although I had already moved through my depression by the time the show aired and I had received this message, I was reminded how powerful it is just to be who you are, where you are, without shame, apology or censor. It touches hearts. It elicits a humane response. It brings us closer to ourselves and to one another.
Who am I to determine that one aspect of myself is any better than another? They are all parts of me. They are all true at the time.
And were I unable to dance with the darkness, I surely couldn't offer so much light.
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