Oh hey, remember that one time, like, YESTERDAY when I was talking about celebrating other people who are awesome? Oh, yeah... well... today I reminded myself how much I suck at that.
My husband took the boys to the gym.
I bought a doughnut and a coffee. (Shh. Shhh. Say no words about how I should have been running.)
So I'm here in my happy place with coffee and chocolate-covered fried bread (sorry Paleo)... just secretly wishing that public places weren't so public cause I get distracted by all the humans... when I run into someone we'll just call Mrs.A-Mazing.
She is a writer, a gifted communicator, a superstar mom; has about eleventy-hundred masters degrees in stuff like "soul healing"; and she's one of those powerhouse Christians that kind of makes you wonder, "Are you for real right now? If I get to know you better, will you start telling dirty jokes?" Not to mention she's a stunning red-head with an au naturale glam that makes you totally want to call up Vogue fashion editors and have her dance in a field of flowers while we bask in her light... and then drown her in a pond. Uhhmean..... jussayin. (Insert shifty eyes.)
She told me she was going to read my blog... so this is all really very awkward.
So I've basically just collided with someone who is lightyears better at doing life than I am. She represents my deepest fears: That my life will pass and amount to nothing. That I will leave no good work behind. That I will touch no lives. Leave no legacy. Die homeless and alone. You know. The usual.
Because of that one meeting, all the words I had planned to write today were choked out by insecurities and replaced with corrosive questions. "Are you good enough? Is your story worth telling? Do you matter enough to be heard? Why you? Why your voice? You should quit before you embarrass yourself. You have no qualifications. You are ridiculous with a capital HUSH!"
All day these feelings swamped me. I have 18 notebook pages full of things I wrote and scratched out thinking it wasn't good enough.
Finally, right before getting the kids to bed the entire day's worth of inner monologue began to congeal into something meaningful. I realized that while I had been fighting my own demons, I was really demonstrating to myself how to exercise resilience. I was showing myself a routine/practice for silencing the voices of doubt, getting my head in the game, and getting the show back on the road.
"What defeats fear?" I asked myself.
When you feel paralyzed, get in the trenches. Work your groove thing. Remind yourself why this is your jam. Don't let your dream die while you think about the reasons you suck. Show your dream who is boss. Don't know what to do? Generate some random crap. Just do some work. It doesn't have to be great... but it might be good.
Name it. Call that sneaky accuser out in the open. Say the feelings: She intimidates me. I wasn't ready to be examined by a pro. She's probably judging me, and she has every right to. When you pin words to the shadows, you shine a light on the truth. Somehow it doesn't look that scary anymore. You may even recognize an opportunity. Everyone needs a good critique when they're growing, after all!
We get nasty with ourselves, ladies and gents. We say things to our poor hardworking selves that we wouldn't dare say to our worst enemy. So, people, there will be no, "I'm stupid to think I can _____." I'll hear no more of your, "I'm a failure." And don't even think about bringing your, "I should give up" into this house. Be nice. You're the only you you've got.
Be Mean. (This is terrible advice, don't listen to me... or do, but don't say I told you so)
It's a harsh world out there. Sometimes we stand on the shoulders of giants... and sometimes we just have to step on their toes in our imagination. So give yourself permission to make a little fun of that super intimidating person in your head. Just a teensy weensy bit. (Don't go off and do it out loud! There's a line, people.) In your head it won't hurt. When you realize that your idol is human, has flaws, doesn't sneeze diamond boogers... you'll smile. You'll feel your hope rising. A joyful heart is good medicine. Then get back to work.
"How good and pleasant it is when brothers and sisters dwell together in unity." Psalms 133:1
The longer we practice our craft, the more people we will meet along the way doing the same thing. It is important to practice Fear Resilience so that we can celebrate the blessing of sharing the journey together, supporting each other, growing not shriveling. Not lonely is good. But it will only be good if we let it.