[Note from Stacey]
[Note from Stacey: When I met Beth I was fascinated to learn she had once been a lawyer in Texas, and through her life’s adventures, is now running a successful “relationship/romance” boutique with a goal to help educate and empower women, and help shift perspective around what sexy uniquely means to each individual who comes to her place of business. It was watching Beth on her Facebook page that I was inspired to research for a blog on adult toy store websites (see “Dare Yourself; The Adult Toy Store Adventure“) that are also educational and help empower women. Below is some background about Beth, and then her guest blog where she discusses her latest adventure – becoming an author!]
Beth Liebling spent years working as a board-certified divorce attorney before her own divorce—after twenty-two years of marriage—led her to start thinking about sex and relationships differently.
“How can couples revive their marriage instead of end it? How can they keep laughing with each other instead of growing apart? And how much of it has to do with sex?”
Her answers to these questions led her to open Darling Way, an elegantly romantic, sexy boutique in the historic Houston Heights where she’s been helping people discover sensuality and its central role in love and relationships.
“Cheers & Fears of Authordom”
Can you imagine how you would feel if you ran through the mall naked on a busy day? Actually, even worse, you had to walk (because it gives people a chance to take their time looking at you and deciding if they like what they see), while someone ahead of you with a bullhorn heralded your arrival in order to make sure that you got as much attention as possible.
Sounds like the stuff nightmares are made of, right?
Writing a book is a lot like that, except that it starts as a dream for most authors, and we don’t realize how terrifying it actually is until we are naked in public, at least emotionally.
My book, Love and Laughter: Sexy (Meaningful) Fun for Everyone! has been out for just over a year now, and sometimes I still have the urge to wrap my arms around myself to avoid being overwhelmed by the scrutiny I always feel. It’s a bizarre feeling, but it’s my truth. I feel completely exposed. Even beyond physically; my heart and spirit are bare for all to see.
I shared my story, my insecurities, my shame and even some of my most embarrassing secrets in the hopes that it would help reassure and inspire others struggling to embrace a healthy, happy sensual life…I was so focused on helping others, I forgot to think about how I was going to feel when less than supportive strangers, armed with very intimate information, judged me.
Sigh. Even now, despite having won some book awards and achieving the success of being an Amazon best seller, I have to take some deep breaths to cope with the anxiety that overtakes my body as I acknowledge the sensation of being on a public stage and hoping with all my heart that I am favorably received. Can you feel my tension just through these words? Because here’s another poorly kept secret: I care what people think about me. I know; I’m supposed to be so old, mature and independent, blah, blah, blah… But that’s all bullsh*t. I’m human. I’m a social being. I want to be liked. Admired. Respected. Just like everyone else.
Unlike most people, though, my longing for public approval is obvious. The fundamental truth is clear. I wrote my book because I had something I wanted to say. I published my book because I wanted you and everyone else to like it. While I don’t want to care what you, or anyone else, thinks about me or my book; the fact that I am compelled to admit this fact clearly belies my feigned disinterest.
So, as long as I’m already vulnerable and exposed, I may as well be perfectly frank. I have spent over twenty years developing what I consider to be a relatively healthy level of success and confidence, both personally and professionally; yet, I deal with enormous fear and doubt on an almost daily basis. And I’m not counting on it going away any time soon.
After all, the only way it would go away is if I stopped doing new things, refused to take chances and settled for only what is already familiar. I’d have to accept what is, repeat what was and ignore anything new. Maybe the crazy part is that I seriously contemplate such a life several times a week, even though I lived that way before and hated it. I can’t explain why what the hell we know seems so much easier than the unknown possibilities, but damn if a lot of us don’t prove the cliché’ true regularly.
Another big sigh. One of resolution. Determination. Fortitude.
I’m not going back to safety. I’m not hiding anymore. I did that for too long. I’m too damned old to be that scared. I’ve lived 50+ years and can’t count on having enough left to waste them. I know I’m going to make a lot more mistakes in my life; I might as well have them be new and interesting ones, right? And since I tried for 23 years in my marriage to be someone I wasn’t, I might as well try being me for a decade or two. That way, even if no one else likes me, I just might.
Ok, world. Bring it on. I know you can see me. Not only by reading the words I gave you, but by seeing beyond them into what I haven’t said. Heck, you can probably see things about me that haven’t even registered on my own radar yet.
Dang, that’s still a scary thought, but since I’m tired of driving in the dark, maybe you can help shed some light here for me by sharing your insights in a constructive and supportive manner? Perhaps while holding my hand and reminding me that I’m a work in progress, but I’m getting better all the time? And, maybe, just maybe, there was at least a little something that you liked about my book that you could mention kindly? Even if it’s just the color of the cover or something. Because while your opinion shouldn’t matter, it does. In fact, I wrote the book for you. How’s that for being honest?
About the Author :
Beth Liebling is an Ivy League educated, former board-certified family lawyer and most recently, owner/creator of Darling Way, a uniquely romantic, elegantly sexy boutique in the historic Houston Heights and online at https://darlingway.com/
In addition to Darling Way’s retail offerings, Beth leads workshops there on all things related to mating, dating, sex and relationships. Additionally, she is the author of the Amazon best selling book “Love and Laughter: Sexy (Meaningful) Fun for Everyone!“, host of the radio show/podcast “Love and Laughter with Beth” (ESPN Houston/Itunes) as well as the Darling Way YouTube video series, “Beth’s Bed Talks”. As a divorced mother of five and grandmother to one, Beth takes an intelligent, no holds barred, personal, but lighthearted approach to serious topics.