Flipping the Switch
There is a voice in some of our heads that tells us we are not good enough or that what we have to say doesn’t matter. I’ve been thinking a lot about why people know they need to change and don’t make the changes or take action. Before I get deeper into that …
Think back over your life and call to mind a moment where you felt:
This isn’t fair, this isn’t right, this is humiliating, pissed off, unloved, abandoned, no one can hear me, no one is listening or where your truth or feelings were dismissed.
It could be something that doesn’t even seem all that huge or significant. Like when my English teacher told me the meaning I got from The Rime of The Ancient Mariner was not what the poet “meant.” I can’t remember if I said to him “You’re not the poet, how do you know?” but that’s how I felt inside. I also felt humiliated. I didn’t feel that way when a math teacher told me my answer was wrong.
The urge to be able to create meaning or have the meaning I saw be valued and honored and not shut down right away has never left me. What drives you?
I want you to look at the significant events in your life that are still informing what you are doing/creating or want to be doing/creating and how you may be stopping yourself because it’s not an “attractive” way to present yourself.
To make certain changes we have to flip a switch or override a voice in our heads. That voice can be a parents or teachers. People like to say it’s their voice or that they internalized it - yet when I get them to really listen to it - we can clearly hear whose voice it is.
That voice overrode our own instincts. It told us:
NO that’s not true. NO that’s not happening. That’s not the way it is. You’re imagining that. You’re making it up. NO you don’t feel that way.
That voice overrode your instincts, your knowledge, your truth - it overrode almost everything you knew about yourself.
If you’re not making the changes you know you need to, if you’re not taking action- what will make you start?
There are moments in life when the switch is flipped. When the voice is overwritten. How many times does that happen? This is one of those times collectively. Will it happen? Are there enough of us willing to flip the switch?
I’ve been seeing the poison of swallowing our own wisdom. It’s a slow acting poison. It’s not “I’m going to commit suicide and die in the next few minutes or hours.” It’s a slow death holding in your wisdom, truth, tenderness, vulnerability and beauty. It’s soulicide.
Someone told me the other day that they didn’t want to be the person who made people implode. I understand it’s a huge responsibility to help a person shatter the mirror that has been reflecting back a false image. To help them kick their way out of a box.
To get to the point where they are screaming or crying
I’m tired of being humiliated. I’m tired of being shamed. I’m tired of being told that’s not true.
I’m tired of hearing:
Why can’t you just be good? Why can’t you talk/look/act like so and so? Why can’t you be like your sister? Why can’t you ____________?
Then we beat ourselves up with “Why can’t I?” What is your “Why can’t I ______?”
Eventually something is going to snap. Bear me with and picture how much shit you are holding in. You know what the secret is, the thing that some of us never say out loud?
How much we want to be in a place where we can break down. To let everything that we have been holding in- out. To FEEL. To feel how painful it is to be holding in your feelings, your voice and your truth. The way you see things.
I shared a story on my Punk Infusion call about how I chose to stop eating after being humiliated by being called a whore and a fat ass by different boys in front of my classmates. I chose to disappear. Things had happening long before those moments to get me to a place where I chose to fight and then to give up fighting. I bring this up now because I want you to look at:
What am I starving or trying to starve to death in myself?
What am or how am I over feeding or over nourishing one part of myself that may be making the other parts feel starved?
In a starved or overfed or numb state we don’t have the energy to flip that switch.
“The hardest thing to learn in life is which bridge to cross and which to burn.” - David Russell
It’s time to burn some bridges. We can burn it down in a really great session with a mentor, reader or energy worker. Then we can feel like “What now?” “What do I do next?”
We can burn it down when we paint, play music, speak, write or when we go hear someone speak, to a dance performance, concert, or a kick ass play.
When you are so moved or devastated by what you just experienced that you can’t even get up from your seat because you don’t want to return to the world as it is.
You don’t want to go back to the world as it is because you have just experienced that world as it truly is inside the mind of a person who trusts, values and gives voice to what has meaning for them.
I can’t go back to the way things were. The switch has been flipped.
What do you want to create right now to help people wake up to their voice, to their truth, to help the override those false voices in their head?
What movements or events did that for you?
Picture my working class catholic childhood. Where some of the top values were hard work, responsibility and obedience. In which the possibilities for women were marriage, children and/or a service job. Or going to the convent.
What flipped the switch for me in 1976-1977 was punk rock. The override switch flipped on and and I said “F*ck It” and then “F*ck Yes!” I can be in my own band. 20-30 songs burst out of me. A bridge was burned and a bridge was crossed. There was no going back.
Except that’s the way I’ve been telling the story up until now. When I told this story on my Punk Infusion call (for supporters of my play) I started bawling.
All that sadness is still there. All those years of holding my feelings in. Of starving myself. Starving for love, affection and touch. To have what I said matter. To matter. Starving for attention.
I’m not playing around here. I want to flip that switch in you. To flip that switch for the audience at my play and to keep flipping it for myself. Presenting a piece of writing or artwork means we have to get vulnerable. Being vulnerable can cause implosions and explosions. Tender feelings can cause as many implosions/explosions as “negative” feelings can. The walls are coming down.
It’s easier to flip the switch when the walls are down. The switch of where we are in our lives right now. What we are holding in that needs to be expressed, to be let out.
Raw emotion moves people and we can’t control what happens when people are moved.
I bawled and the overwhelming feeling for me during punk rock was of freedom. I never felt so free in my life as I did writing lyrics and pounding on the drums. Thank you for supporting me and seeing the value of Switch Flipping. For knowing how important it is to get this message to people who might not be able to do it for themselves. It takes a lot of energy.
Whatever happened that that overrode the voice in your head that told you that you weren’t good enough, that what you had to say didn’t matter - I ask that you share this with your audience. That’s the way we are going to keep flipping switches. I am being vulnerable about my feelings and my life.
Punk wasn’t about being vulnerable. We had a ‘face’ our own kind of facade even though we said we were tearing those down. It was still powerful and forever impacted my life.
That was then, this is now so the story I will be sharing will be different than the one I told back then. Together and in the spaces between those times- they are my truth.
Flip the Switch.