I have made a new commitment to writing. I realize with such clarity that in order to be a successful writer, writing must become a top priority to me, to my family and to my friends. I realized that I was withholding my dream from others because of fear of failure. What if everyone knows I am writing everyday, hoping to be published and it doesn’t happen? I had to be with that question for some time before realizing that I have to be willing to fail. I have to be willing to suck as a writer, to be wasting two to three hours every day on it and have it never amount to anything. I have to be publicly going for my dream, allowing myself to be vulnerable and willing to be rejected.
When I realized my biggest fear around writing was being rejected or judged silently by my friends and family, it felt as if a light had been turned on in a very dark room. There it was, the rejection, the failure, the ridicule — hiding in the darkness of my mind. But bringing it into the foreground, looking at it, acknowledging that it was there, brought it into the light of my consciousness. No longer could it lurk in the dark like a childhood monster, scaring me. It’s power was deflated just by seeing it.
Now the fear can be there but it can’t hide from me any longer. I can see that I projected this fear onto everyone I knew, just knowing they would judge my writing. But it was me that was holding back out of fear. It was me that was afraid of my own mind. As soon as I revealed this, made a stand for the dream that I have to become a published author, my friends and family rallied around me. I was the one holding the support at arms length. I was the one making it impossible to write. And excuses to not write exploded as disguises for the fear.
The fear of rejection and failure can no longer rule my actions or in-actions. Are they still there? Sure. But they are illuminated by the light of consciousness and can just become a part of me that I understand and love. They have tried to protect me but my resistance to them just made them stronger. Now, I just ask them to pull up a chair as I write. And usually my acceptance of them makes them all but disappear.
I woke up in a mood yesterday. The kind of mood where nothing was quite right and everything was irritating. I wasn’t sure where this was coming from but I knew that it was useless to try to change it. Everything I did to try and change it – meditate, read spiritual text and such – was not helping. When that didn’t work, I caught myself lashing out – at the kids, the dog or anything that came within a foot of my path. It was then that I remembered a library book that needed to be returned and I promptly got in the car, by myself, and drove to the library.
On the drive I was cursing in my mind all of the outer things that I felt were not right. I then remembered that when the circumstances begin to be the problem in my mind that I must look deeper to see what is going on within. I know that the circumstances can never dictate my mood and that if my mood was rotten something was rotting inside, namely, a thought I had not yet identified and worked on.
I didn’t see it right away. I just had thoughts about finances, kids school work, the dog needing a bath, the infinite things that I felt I needed to do, but I couldn’t quite identify why I was in blame mode. I decided to allow myself a bad day. To just be in a bad mood, but the catch was to be the observer of that bad mood and be very alert to the self talk that was going on.
I started seeing the self sabotage underneath all of the outer condemnation of my circumstances. I started seeing that I was feeling as though I couldn’t keep up and I couldn’t do all of the things I need to do. My son had moaned and groaned about his school work and I felt that I wasn’t presenting it in an interesting enough way. The dog was stinky and I felt that I just didn’t have time to deal with it. The house was a mess and hadn’t I just cleaned it a couple of days ago? The kids are in their “hungry every minute of the day” faze and I just couldn’t seem to keep enough groceries in stock with the budget that we have and still feed them healthy meals and snacks. I started seeing a thread of I’M Not Good Enough stringing through my every thought. I allowed it. I asked it to pull up a seat and stay for a while. I know that if I can’t do this, if I can’t feel these darts of self doubt and own them and claim them as my own, I begin forcing it outward. And when I force it outward and stuff the internal feelings that are going on, I’m doomed and I stay in that state for a while, creating messes to clean up later.
Allowing the feelings of not good enough, without trying to counter them, just allowing them to stab me with their insistence, I was able to see that I was JUDGING myself. I wouldn’t talk to my dog the way that internal voice was talking to me. I began to see that it was an illusion. Just an old tape recording and the play button had been pushed. I watched it play out until it stopped. I realized there is NO SUCH THING as a not good enough. We do what we do, we are who we are and any judgement about that is relative. Relative to what? To the never ending imaginary scale that I always try to put myself on. Am I living up here? Am I as good as so and so there? It is a never ending movement from one end of the scale to the other, until we can take ourselves off and just be.
So, I started being and letting go of the illusion that there is even such a thing as good enough. I was able to move from activity to activity without a lot of expectation or attachment to what came of it. And I saw my energy soar and my creativity blossom – I was alive again. I was back to the reality that there is no scale to put myself upon, there is nothing to live up to, no one to live up to and that my life is just my life. What freedom!
One of the great benefits to this is watching others around me and seeing how their energy changes with mine. Everyone relaxes. It seems that when I take myself off of that dreaded scale that we all pull out sometimes, everyone else can do the same. I can give them the space to be who they are and they feel it. Resistance stops and love can flourish.
So, I am happy within again and not having to lash out at the dog, the kids or my husband. I can just be who I am without trying to be the “best”‘ or even close. I AM. That is all that is necessary.