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On Overcoming Self-doubt: The Story Behind My Songs of Hope and Healing

Hi everyone. I believe there are many, many highly sensitive people (HSPs) out there that are gifted in so many areas but are suffering from self-doubt from their wounds from childhood and by being misunderstood in our society in general.  I want to tell you about how I came to be able to write songs and share them with you in the hopes that this will be helpful or inspire you in some way.  My being able to write songs is a story about overcoming self-doubt and finding and expressing my true self.  It was my songs that helped me uncover the truth of who I really am and what happened to me in my childhood.  The ability to write and sing these songs gave me a connection to something spiritual so that I learned to love myself and stop doubting the gifts and feelings that were within me.   Writing these songs turned me into a believer–and I now know I am loved and supported by the universe and I became more spiritual and drawn to reading more about what that means. 

I feel there is something in the words and melodies of most of my songs that came from something bigger than myself–I was just the channel.  I want to inspire, encourage and empower others who are in emotional pain and afraid to show who they really are.  I believe those highly sensitive souls are voices that are needed in our society and they are sensitive for a reason.  They have a connection to something bigger than themselves that they do not realize and don’t dare show to others because they don’t want to be hurt anymore–so they are hiding.  I understand this hiding.

The songs were an instrument in me telling my truth–and gaining the strength to stand up and assert my self and my true voice. These songs were instrumental in my gaining strength and energy and learning finally that there are people who we must avoid while we are healing and people of light and love that are safe to go towards. Being highly sensitive is a gift!  And I am grateful and honored to be one of those people.  I  feel blessed in this gift I have been given and I now have the positive energy to give to and love others only by loving my self first.  That is what these songs have done for me.  Here is my story:

In 2004 I started writing songs.  I had been writing  poems in a journal since I was 14.  At that time, I was told that things I wrote were crazy but I kept writing anyway because it made me feel better.  At that time I trusted others more than I trusted myself and so when I was criticized, ignored, and shamed for my singing too it broke my heart and I gave up on my dream to sing.  But I was compelled to sing and write anyway–in secret and in private. I dreamed of being a singer like Linda Rondstadt and sang in my bedroom to all of her albums.  I started learning the guitar at 17. (A boyfriend bought it for me–not my parents.)  I slowly started learning to play chords to my favorite songs. These were songs by Carole King, James Taylor, Carly Simon, and Linda Ronstadt. (Later on it was songs by Bonnie Raitt and Sheryl Crow).  I sang in the choir in high school and college and got great praise but I didn’t believe it. My college voice teacher told me I had the best voice in the whole school of music.  But my fear felt too big to overcome so I refused to do any solos–I had stagefright and by graduation I gave up on my dream.

But about once a month something in me would make me sing and play the guitar.  I would sing and play my favorite songs for hours for only my self or sometimes for my husband and kids and then put it away for another month.  They liked my singing–but I was sure that I wasn’t as good as I thought I was in my heart.  I did that for many, many years.   Meanwhile,  I heard about a book called The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron.  I  began writing 3 pages a day of free writing called Morning Pages to unblock creativity. (Ellen Degeneres has mentioned on her show that she also does this). Something started happening to me–I was finding out who I was and how I really felt about things.  More good writing and poetry started coming out of me–I was feeling more confident in myself and happier.

My children were having big successes in singing at school.  I had been careful not to push them in any direction but the ones of their own choosing.  To my surprise they both were drawn to singing in their own way.  My eldest became a soloist in high school and eventually a lead singer in a cover band in college.  My 2nd child was successful in acting and sang beautifully in solos in musical theatre productions at school.  They had no stagefright at all!  I was so proud of them and proud of myself for raising children with no stagefright!   I would often joke,” I can die now”,  but it made me realize how important singing was to me but I was still paralyzed in fear that my voice was not good enough for others to hear.  I knew this was irrational and started singing more often but there was still so much doubt in my mind.  It was exhausting to try and easier to just not try to sing for others.  I sang more often but still just kept it to myself.

When my eldest child went off to college and my husband started traveling more throughout the week I had more time to myself to recharge and suddenly one day I was inspired to put music to the poem I was writing in my journal.  I remember a melody came to me and it seemed as a gift from above to go with these words I was writing.  Not until after I was done writing it (long hand), with this melody in my head, did I pick up the guitar to try to play it and miraculously it fit perfectly with the few chords I knew well.  I recorded it on a tape recorder and, during a rare and brave moment, I dared to show it to my other child’s voice teacher who really liked it and said “you are a folk singer/songwriter” and also that he was jealous because he had a masters in music and couldn’t write any songs. This first song was entitled I’ll Believe and it felt like this song may have been a gift from above and that I had just been open to receive it and put it all together.  After that, songs just started pouring out of me and I always put the date on every song I write because it is important to me to acknowledge when it was given to me. 

Not only that, each song was prompted by an emotional state and a painful learning experience.  Sometimes I would feel a lot of shame after the song was complete because I dared to pour out my truth.  I soon realized that my best songs were the ones I felt the most shame about initially.  I knew this shame was not the truth. Then I would make myself listen to a tape of my recorded songs when I wasn’t feeling good about them or myself.  Every time I listened, I was surprised that I had written these songs and they changed my mood from feeling lost and numb to finding myself and finding my joy in life again for that day. It was a very healing experience as I saw myself getting more and more confident in expressing my “voice” in more ways than one.  I realized that because of the internalized shame from my childhood, I was beating myself up all the time and it was up to me to start believing in myself and to stop believing the inner critic inside my head.  It wasn’t true.  I was actually good.  How many other things I believed about myself also were not really true?   I was finding my voice as a person as well and speaking up for myself and standing up for myself in all areas of my life.

So it is the lyrics and the music that I feel helped me to find myself and I hope that they will be a source of hope and healing to you as well. Right now, I have written about 40 songs.  20 of them that I am releasing the lyrics to you I call my “Songs of Hope and Healing”.  And that is the inspiration for the name of this website.    Please let me know either by comment or by email if there are lyrics that speak to you.

15 to 20 % of us are Highly Sensitive People (HSPs).  We are a valuable and essential resource to our planet!  Overcoming self-doubt and finding our voice IS our true purpose in life.  Find the courage to trust that those gifts you were given are meant to be expressed and will be helpful to others by inspiring them to find their gifts as well. The desires deep in your heart are the path to finding your true purpose in life.  You can overcome your self-doubt! You are sensitive for a reason!

Thank you to my readers.  I have been getting emails and it’s great to know that I am reaching you and that what I am doing is helping.

With love, Roxanne

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6 responses

  1. Hey there. Thanks so much for taking the time to read parts of my blog. I really appreciate that. Yours is very is interesting and insightful, I will make sure I check in as often as I can. I’m pretty sure I’m empathic, but I’m not sure about HSP. Maybe, I’m not ruling it out. And your music is great! Very inspirational. I’ve tried to write songs and poetry, but I don’t think I’m gifted in that area haha. But it’s great so see that you are blogging as well as reaching out to others. If you ever want to chat my e-mail is quietmusician86@aol.com and never hesitate to send a message my way.

    Peace, CJay

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    1. Hey CJay, You are welcome–it’s so nice to find a fellow INFJ that is also a musician. It means a lot to me that you like my music and my blog. Thank you very much! I’m so glad you will be checking in. Roxanne

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  2. This post has really made me think. I still have an extremely difficult time understanding my own emotions, or even recognizing them. I still get knots in my stomach and have no idea why. I still feel like crap some days for no apparent reason.

    I was also a singer growing up. I was also not supported by my N parents (shocking, right?!). I have no idea how good I ever was at singing but when I told them I wanted to go to a private performing arts college they pretty much laughed in my face. I never sang again after high school, well, except in the car and at parties with the help of some liquid courage and a group to sing along with. 🙂

    I will be reading the Julia Cameron book you recommend as well as another one I found by her, “The Right To Write”. As much as I enjoy singing I think writing is more my thing these days.

    I haven’t gone through all of your lyrics yet but so far I like Free To Live best.

    BTW….if you haven’t yet, you should check out this blog: http://karenfollowingthewhispers.blogspot.com/

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    1. Cyndi, Thank you so much for sharing your feelings on this matter. I understand how you feel and I used to feel the same. As an HSP you may also be an empath absorbing the negative energy (feelings) of others. If you google empath there is lots of info online. I’m so glad you will be getting the Julia Cameron books–that may be all you need to start understanding your emotions–if you do the morning pages that is. And the amazing thing that happens is, you don’t just become a better writer. You become more clear and confident in whatever gift you have whether it is painting, singing, or pottery etc. I remember one day just being very clear about some things in my house I started getting rid of. Things like,”Why do I have this plant–I hate this plant! And it was easy to get rid of things for the first time. All the Shoulds in my head were overruled by what I really wanted to do that I had never realized before. I am excited for you. I’ll bet you are an awesome singer–it just wasn’t in their plan for you. I feel you are the expert on narcissistic parents so you know how this is possible. I read that article you wrote on narcissism again because it had been a while and it was even better to me this time. Whatever bad place you think you were in when you wrote it I believe was your brilliant true self asserting your truth–the regret you felt after was just doubt because you were probably shamed for expressing your authentic self as a child. The regret you feel may be childhood pain coming up to heal but if you didn’t know that you might just doubt yourself and feel bad. That is how we felt controlled back then and it often is still controlling us now. Let me tell you Cyndi, I believe that article you wrote on narcissism is the best one out there on the subject. You already are a great writer. And I read somewhere on your blog you felt driven to write it–well it feels like maybe you wrote it for me because it inspired me to start my blog and help others. Amazing how it works when we overcome the doubt and do it anyway–it inspires and helps others to do the same. And thanks for telling me you like Free to Live, it’s the one I would have liked to be playing when you come to my site, but it has a few imperfections in it as yet… Also, thanks for the tip on the blog–I will definitely check it out. Yay Cyndi! Roxanne

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  3. Roxanne, I can’t thank you enough for your kind words. I am floored that you had such a reaction to my post. I appreciate it more than you will ever know along with all the other people who identified with it. It helps ME to know I am not alone.

    You are absolutely right about it being the shame that does not truly belong to me. That is what I felt when I wrote it. I’ve even written an entire post about “shoulds” (title: My #1 Most Hated Word In The English Language).

    It’s interesting, my mother’s non-reaction to the things I have written and the fact that I have confided to her entire family what my childhood was like. They had no idea. All those years I spent in fear of her and she is completely stymied by my rebellion. 🙂

    I suggested Karen’t blog to you because she is well versed in N’s and is also a singer.

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    1. Cyndi, 😀 ! Roxanne

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