“An attack upon our ability to tell stories is not just censorship – it is a crime against our nature as human beings.” -Salman Rushdie
I have been censoring my voice for too long now. It started a couple of years ago in a rough patch in my business when I took money from the wrong people with a bad lawyer. For years, I have been afraid to tell my own truth about what I do every day for fear of saying something I shouldn’t, for fear of reprisal. But what I have learned in this censoring of my voice is that the more I question my right to speak, the more I doubt whether I can express what I know and feel, the more that my voice recedes from me. I have said this before, pertaining to love, this mistaken idea that we can selectively close off one part of ourselves, or selectively reject some part of someone else, is simply a lie. As soon as we shut down, the closing spreads, often without our recognition. The truth is that to live fully and authentically, requires the courage of being all in. Whether in love relationships, sexual discovery or writing, the one foot out the door syndrome, where we hold back and won’t fully commit to the experience, is a killer.
All the while, where we wait for proof that we can trust the lover, the partner or the reader with our full selves, the truth of what lives between you and the other slips away in the crack out the door. You never really know what it would be like to live with them, make love to them full on with your foot out the door. And I do know this about my writing- the pieces that I have published without any thought of who might react, were the ones that resonated loud and clear and long. I know that I want to find that part of me who can convey something meaningful and lasting with this voice and I know it is a risk. Still, from every direction these days, people are urging me to dig into this space and speak my truth. It started with an interview a couple of months ago, with a reporter who had been covering our story since I won a couple of awards a few years back. She came to learn about the new funding round that we had just closed and about the great progress I had made with Good Clean Love. She was familiar with the years when the last angel investment came close to putting me out of business.
During the two hour interview we spoke openly and honestly, so much so, that I was afraid again that my own voice could get me in trouble. Her story yesterday, “Investing in Love,” showed me otherwise. I am learning again and from a deeper place that telling our own truth is the only way we can ever reunite with the people we need to know in this life and, even more importantly, the only option to reunite with ourselves. I have written many times over the years about how suppressing our sexual selves, keeping our desires hidden, only serves to pervert what is true and beautiful in us. I will follow my own advice…
So this blog, Making Love Sustainable, which began when a friend told me just to start writing what I know, will become my new home again. Instead of just writing my weekly newsletter posts on how to love more and better here, I will bring all of my voices to this place- everything from my evolving positivity work to what it takes to grow a love business. Speaking frankly and openly about one’s life in the blogosphere is at once completely mundane and also a great risk. The most challenging aspect for me has always been trying to strike the balance of vulnerability with my own story without revealing too much of other people’s stories. This I think is how fiction was invented, change the names and places but keep the stories alive. Part of loving people, whether it is my husband and children or friends, who share their intimate selves with me, these stories are mine and not mine. But separating them is not easy. Figuring out where the line is that can easily and invisibly get crossed as we open up about our own experience is the challenge.
I know a couple of authors who struggle still with the painful consequences of violating an intimate’s confidence in sharing the depth of their own story. They may have gotten a bestseller out of it, but they also got a divorce. And then there are the complexities of working relationships, which are intimate and not. How much disclosure is too much, here again, I know my part of the story well enough to tell, but what that might provoke for our business partners is hard to say. This is why memoirs and blogs that disclose deeply are so riveting, because we long for human stories. It is the mirror in which we know ourselves.
So look for a new and updated blog space coming here soon, where we will dive deep into what it is to be a loving, sexual and very human being.