An Oath of Invisibility

I clearly remember swearing my Oath of Invisibility.

The neighbourhood ladies had gathered on our front lawn, laughing and tittering away.

Weaving between their legs, desperately trying to understand what was so funny, the light bulb went off –

the joke was me.

An innocent five-ish year old comment to a neighbour warranted immediate re-telling to all who would listen.

Any attempt to tell my side of the story, which I stand by to this day, was dismissed with another round of laughter.

Enough was enough.


Never again would I utter a word or put myself in the limelight.


While silence of a monk didn’t follow, the Oath of Invisibility remained as quiet, steadfast gatekeeper acting at my behest.

Much like the Queen’s Guard in front of Buckingham Palace.

Opinions were held back.

Emotions suppressed.

My true self kept well hidden under wraps.


Speaking out would happen occasionally, but only as if by an accidental overflow.

A quick retreat always followed, along with a check around to see if anyone had noticed.


The Oath of Invisibility carried out its duties invisibly for decades.

Being an introvert as well provided the perfect cover story.

Holding back or being a wallflower could always be explained away as part of introversion.


That is until I read The Call (related poem) by Oriah Mountain Dreamer.

Chapter 11 rocketed the Oath to up front and centre once again.

She proposes the idea we each have a word that embodies why we are here and shapes our lives.

A word that likely makes us cringe and shudder at the very thought because we’ve resisted it for so long.

Perhaps most of our life.

But the word remains nonetheless, waiting patiently for acknowledgement and requiring purposeful awareness instead of being on auto-pilot.


Crossed words on a Scrabble board


Mucking about finding my word uncovered the Oath.

It wasn’t at all impressed being brought to light.

Why ruin a good gig?

Steady work in lifelong careers aren’t easy to come by anymore.


My word appeared fairly quickly.

Fighting tooth and nail against accepting it took far longer.

You see, my word was Speak or if allowed a phrase, Speak the unspoken.

You can’t speak and remain invisible.

Saying what needs to be said often comes packaged with a side order of risk.

How are you supposed to stay safe?


As with most callings, resistance is futile.

It’s a matter of when, not if.

The amount of struggle is our choice.


Speak as my word explained so much.

The accidental overflows were no accident at all.

The real me was trying to break through.

For as easy as not speaking became, remaining silent was a constant struggle to not be me.


Speak is really not a word I would have chosen for myself.

But that’s where I truly feel most at home.

Even when the thought scares the crap out of me.

I don’t want to speak, but I have to.


Putting speak aside for long stretches at a time is easy.

Welcomed actually.

There are so many other diversions important things to do.

Speak demands both attention and energy I don’t always have.

Or so I tell myself to perpetuate avoidance.

Because speaking comes bundled with a tremendous amount of inner energy and feeling more alive.


I’ve come to terms with Speak demanding my purposeful attention.

No auto-pilot.

All bargaining is off the table too.

Suggesting parameters to control Speak and be more palatable flies like a lead balloon.

I’m in or we wait.


A call is never about being ready, and all about letting go.

Having a word, our word to guide us seems to make the leap more of one step at a time.


What word would you most NOT want your word to be?


feel free to share

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Lorraine Watson - on rustic porch

chief nudging officer


Crazy for cats and potatoes, Lorraine's insatiable curiosity of Life leads her to question, explore and push beyond the box. A self-professed "left-brained creative big picture" type, she has an intuitive knack for seeing beyond and beneath first appearances while at the same time nerding out on the details. Most of all she sees and holds others in their highest until they can see it for themselves.


  1. Teri on October 6, 2015 at 8:01 am

    Oooooh…this is going to take some thought. What an empowering concept. Just when I think I’m getting to know myself, I get a question like this that I can’t readily answer 🙂 Good stuff.

    • Lorraine on October 8, 2015 at 9:48 am

      Nothing like a good question to fling open the doors to discovering new aspects of ourselves. Happy exploring!

  2. Carrie Ann Lahain on October 7, 2015 at 12:26 pm


    God no!

    But I think that’s it. It’s a theme running through my fiction…people shattering their own illusions and wrestling with the messy truth of things. And my newsletter, meant to be a very civilized discussion of all things literary, had evolved into one long revelation/confession.

    And I never ever ever wanted to be on Oprah or Dr. Phil. Anytime a camera is in the vicinity, I RUN RUN RUN…and yet when working in my medium–words–I cannot help but tear off all my protective coverings and let my scared (and scary) bits show.

    • Lorraine on October 8, 2015 at 9:52 am

      Great word! Definitely sounds like you can’t help yourself no matter how much you don’t want to.

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