The Whispers

Posted | 12 comments

The Whispers

One of my greatest strengths is my persistence. I will stick with something long after most people have given up and called it a day. The more dire the situation and the greater the challenge, the more likely you are to see me eyeball deep in it sludging my way through. Because of this, I’ve been able to accomplish things that don’t always seem plausible. I’m a good team member. If you give me a task, you can be sure of two things: it will done and it will be done well.

On the flip side, this persistence sometimes causes me problems. At times I can be like a pit bull that won’t loosen it’s bite even when being bludgeoned. I too often don’t know when to let go. I have sacrificed time and attention to my spouse, my kids, and myself for work both paid and volunteer. I’ve given way too much energy and continued to do things that were no longer beneficial.

Oprah says, “I say the universe speaks to us always first in whispers…If you don’t pay attention to the whisper, it gets louder and louder and louder. I say it’s like getting thumped up side the head. You don’t pay attention to that, it’s like getting a brick up side your head. If you don’t pay attention to that, the brick wall falls down.”

I will bet you can guess that I kind of suck at hearing the whispers. Seriously, a brick wall falling down on me is just a mere inconvenience. Once I’m on task, it takes something akin to a nuclear holocaust to get me to loosen my grip just enough so that you might, and I do mean might, be able to drag me away.

The Big Guy was somewhat kind to me for a number of years, but after years of whispering in my year and carefully nudging me in the direction I needed to head to no avail, His kind and gentle ways became a thing of the past. With no other option, I’ve been called on the carpet in a series of what any good Southerner would define as “come to Jesus moments” and forced to face the reality of my life.

Maybe I’m not as bright as some people. Maybe I’m naive. Maybe I’m stubborn.The bottom line is that I’ve been put “through it.” Over the past several years, bombs have gone off, walls have fallen, and I’ve had no choice but to deal with the rubble and chaos. I had to loosen my death grip.

I was forced to question every single relationship. I fought for those I love, I changed the dynamics of others, and I let people go. I was forced to look at every single thing I do. I quit a job and a sold a business. I restructured the way I spend my time.

It has been tough. But as I look back over the weeks, months, years, I see a different me. Well, not so much a different me. It’s more like I see the real me. The layers of ick that stuck to me for so long have been forced off and what is left is closer to who I really am. The walls, the armor, the veneer that I had in place has been worn down. I like to think it’s mostly gone, but I know I still have a lot of work to do.

I’m going to hold onto some of that persistence. It will come in handy when I’m facing a deadline or running a race. It’ll be a huge asset when I settle on my mission. I’m just going to be sure that as I trip into my future, I listen. Not to other people and not to that incessant voice in my head, but to the whispers. The quiet place where God speaks to me..


  1. AMEN that!! This is exactly how I’ve felt at many points in my life, “Maybe I’m not as bright as some people. Maybe I’m naive. Maybe I’m stubborn.The bottom line is that I’ve been put “through it.”” I can be like that stubborn pit bull that won’t let go too, but I’m glad you’re keeping some of that persistence for when you need it… And I’m glad you’ll be listening for God’s whispers too.. Sometimes they are difficult for those of us who lack ‘acute’ hearing to hear! Listening harder myself.. 😉

    • It’s all a matter of quieting the chatter and much easier said then done.

  2. Great post, Denise. I think all off us who were brought up to be good and work hard struggle with this issue. After all, it’s bad to be a “quitter,” right? Sometimes it’s darn near impossible to know when the wise course of action is to throw in the towel. I think you’re doing great.

    • I was raised with “do or die” and an early mentor encouraged me “to never let them see you sweat.” Good lessons when applied to the right challenges.

  3. We have a lot in common my friend! Sometimes, for me, tenacity dances with despair but each time I am faced with a new challenge I learn a little more about me. I am so grateful to the many wise women (and a few enlightened men) who have taken me by the hand and illuminated the next step.

    • Where would we be without our tribe? I walk in the footsteps of giants and feel so blessed to have so many examples to follow. You included.

  4. I felt this strength in you when I met you this last weekend, Denise. Persistence. It exudes from you as a quiet knowing, a force of being. I was delighted to connect with you. Delighted to feel how deep your heart presence runs and how you persist in showing up. I’ve seen it in your writing. I read it above. It radiates from your wee photo. Persistence. We’ve had to endure. Humans. We are in a new era where there is space for choice to live differently. I am brought to thoughts of my mother and what she endured seemingly from lack of choice. I also see how her persistance is what got her to the new land.

    I love the idea of choice… when to persist…. and when to let go. I rejoice in this new existence for both of us!

    •…and more love…I couldn’t agree with you more. It is a new era and we will make a difference.

  5. Denise, there is no brighter light than the one that glows after someone discovers a truth about themselves. The beauty of it is that it illuminates the way for others. Simply and inexorably an excellent post.

    • But oh, what work it is to clean off the bulb.

  6. Thank you Denise. I am the typical Taurus, grounded, nurturer, and at times stubborn as heck. I can so relate to the above 🙂 I love the last bit…the whispers, and quiet place where God speaks to you. It is in the quietness of when I sit down to meditate, that I get some of my nuggets. I love that B-school led me to your blog. And am looking forward to connecting and finding more about the whispers.

    • Thanks for being here, Claire. You are so right we have to make it a practice to listen. I’m practicing turning off the voice of my ego as much as I can. Just being present, in the moment, without expectations… wondrous.

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