Get It Out! / by Michelle Cowan

When you need to say something, say it! If something is bottled up inside, you have to get it out. Get it out somehow, even if only by speaking to the wind. If it’s something you long to say to someone else but just can’t, you don’t have to say it to his or her face. You can write it down or have a pretend conversation right there, in your room, in your car, alone. Imagine the reaction if you want. You don’t have to, though. Just speak your peace.

Writing is exceptionally helpful for me. It helps structure my thoughts in a way that makes more sense or is less overwhelming to me. Oftentimes, I feel as though I’m having a thousand thoughts, but when I write them down, they really only amount to four or five.

The danger of my mind is its tendency to loop. Although most of my thoughts are ones I can allow to pass without action, some rise to the surface repeatedly. These are ones that demand expression. If I refuse to recognize or release those thoughts, they remain near the forefront of my consciousness where they travel merry-go-round style until I feel dizzy and confused. A couple of resentments, a brilliant idea or plan, and a few repressed feelings start seeming like an ominous cloud of too-much.

In fact, this loop effect is the basis for my belief (and the opinion of others) that I “think too much.” I do think too much, but the key to resolving this issue is that the thinking often traverses the same territory./ I’m not thinking a multitude of thoughts necessarily, just the same ones over and over, because I have not done anything with them. I experience no freedom until I write them down, sing them out, talk aloud, or confront another individual.

Too many brilliant thoughts have failed to see the light of day because people were afraid others might judge them or think they were weird for having those thoughts. Many intelligent folks are afraid of what actions they may have to take if they voice their ideas. Once something is out in the open, it could go anywhere—in theory.

I’m here to say that step one is to tell your ideas to yourself. Gauge how comfortable you are with the thought and see if you are satisfied leaving it within the confines of your own space. If you are, the insanity may be over.

However, if you still don’t feel completely liberated, it may be time to share your thoughts with another person. (Some prefer to talk to a pet first, but that’s a matter of preference.) This step always brings a new perspective and usually a calm to the situation. Other people’s opinions are often the most feared element of all. To conquer that fear usually means the world—and either ends the painful thought cycle or sparks new actions.

Sometimes, before sharing with someone else, further analysis or organization of the thought is required. I have thoughts so convoluted that I have to turn them into stories or lists. Many of my ideas evolve into songs. People often understand my thoughts much better when release them to the world in a more creative form. They get lost if I just ramble. What’s more—the process of crafting the thought’s expression usually ends the torment of the thought merry-go-round all by itself.

Nonetheless, don’t forget that some thoughts JUST NEED OUT. Sometimes, your job is to say what you feel in the moment. As I have learned to do this, I feel freer and freer. I am more myself. Yes, occasionally, unintentionally offensive things are said or I am completely misunderstood. But I rarely regret speaking my truth in an authentic way.

Like I said in a previous post, I’m learning and practicing new, more tactful ways to put things. The core of the effort is not to delay the speaking of my mind, but to improve my ability to state personal thoughts or feelings in the moment using a means of expression that most accurately conveys my true intention and idea to the listener. I want to get it out but also be understood.

Right now, my moment is here, on my own. I think I have some journaling to do… And then maybe a person to call…