Finding My Voice Through The Wellness Universe

I have been a member here for quite a while. My membership doesn’t give me a join date, but I believe it was sometime in 2014. It is now January 2017, and these have been years of tremendous growth in exploring my bedrock truths and finding my voice.

I had been blogging as “revgerry” for years, both on other people’s sites such as DailyKos (political), Open Salon and other sites, knowing full well that left me anonymous. Even my own blog (pictured) was as “Rev. Gerry.” 

I had started a “my eyes only” FB page, Open Hearted Musings, where I was exploring spiritual issues and had only recently made it public (though I had not told my FB friends and family about it) when I found The Wellness Universe.

I am not sure why I was afraid to “come out” as myself but I told myself I would lose followers because my name is so hard to remember. Well, so is Iyanla Vanzant’s (another fine Dutch name).

Part of it comes from being the rainbow-sheep (who ran away and lived in a commune for 10 years) in a very conservative authoritarian family. Then too, I never fully “fit in” anywhere I was from early childhood on. We moved a lot, including 6 years in post-war Netherlands in the early 1950’s. When I cam back to the US, I always felt not only “different than” but also “less than.“ 

By my 20’s – and until my 50’s at least – I had thought I was a deeply flawed “Eleanor Rigby” for some secret reason I could not understand, unlovable, a failure in life…and other self-fulfilling nonsense. I was actively suicidal for many of those years. I had been deeply depressed for so many years of my life and now learning to love myself in recovery – never mind being delighted and proud to be me – has been a long process of overcoming a deep sense of shame.

I had come a long way. I had close friends. I studied and was ordained a (metaphysical) minister, founded my own church, supported other churches, was active in the community. I grew in a long-term love relationship (20+ happy years now) and we raised 2 boys who had had rough starts. When I retired from ministry and from community involvement, I needed to redefine my purpose.

I had moved from private journaling to public blogging (as revgerry), but had few followers, and of course that infant FB spiritual page. But I needed co-workers, colleagues, to learn from you and to know I was part of something bigger than myself again. It wasn’t until I found the support and friendship and COMMUNITY of the Wellness Universe WorldChangers… that I began to find and own my voice as ME, as Gerry Straatemeier, and to explore my truths “in public.” It was because you trusted me and believed in me that I could trust and believe in myself. I always said I “won the jackpot” when I found WU, and I am so grateful.

But I had largely stopped blogging, because, honestly, it was difficult to find a following and WU made it easy to find a FB following. Now I have a new blog and begin to see awesome new possibilities.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart. 

#WUVIP Gerry Straatemeier at 75

PS: I have a new task. As I put together my new WU bio page, I realized that I have four major areas of focus (see below). That’s too many. I need to go deeper and see what it is that informs all 4 of them, to pull it together into one coherent world view/philosophy/message. Am thinking about it and it’s a subject for another day.

FB Pages: Culture of Peace and Nonviolence, House of Love and Light, Imagine Yourself HAPPYOpen Hearted Musings

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  1. Anna Pereira

    I am in tears. Gerry, I have said it before and I will say it again – You make WU the reason for being. When I speak to people I tell them how your journey has changed your life and because of the great change you have experienced, if no-one else, your life I know we have changed and that give me purpose. May you continue to be blessed in every area of your life – as you already are! I thank God that you found us and I found myself through you. You are proof that WU is needed for those seeking help in the world and as MUCH and if not more, for the providers. God bless you <3 XOXOXO Love you!

    1. Gerry Straatemeier Post author

      Well then, Anna, I am doubly grateful we found each other. World-changers often work by themselves and I can just bet I am not the only one who thrives because of your vision and hard work.

      I don’t have any products to sell or services to offer for sale…maybe that will change someday, maybe it won’t. I do meditation voiceovers for spare change over at fiverr but haven’t figured out how to make that a real business. Some people say I will reach more people if I write and sell the books I want to. Each time I try I get overwhelmed and stop. I’m willing for that to change and maybe when we have a WU store I’ll get that all done.

      Meanwhile, here I am at WU and making a difference and life is good.

      1. Shari Alyse

        That will change. It will be so easy to have your books, meditations and anything else your creative and inspiring mind comes up with. Our goal is to make it easy for you to share more of you with the world.

  2. Shari Alyse

    This is so beautiful. YOU are so beautiful. When you express yourself in words, your soul emanates through and it makes me feel like I did something right in the world to be able to be in your company. I know that sounds strange or even a ‘bit much’, but there is something about the way you express who you are – ALL of you – GERRY STRAATEMEIER – that makes my soul feel good. Honored to be your friend, your colleague and a fellow journeyer through this lifetime. <3 I Love YOU

  3. Gerry Straatemeier Post author

    Wow, Shari, I don’t even know what to say – except I’m learning never to push Love away, and you honor me with your friendship. Thank you. I love you too as you know… a mutual admiration society. WU HUUU! <3 <3 🙂 <3

  4. Anna Pereira

    Beautiful words Gerry & Shari! Thank you again – I wish I could express myself through words for how you truly make me feel. We are always here for you Gerry ~ And grateful for all you are and all you do <3