I’ve led a “successful” life by most external metrics … but it feels that I’ve been internally (mentally) suffering for most of my life. I pinned myself into a small, little, safe box and didn’t allow myself to believe that I could do the things that I felt drawn to do. You know, those things in life that just call to you? Those things that, it seemed, there was absolutely zero chance in hell it would ever be a part of your life … because that just simply wasn’t “you”.
Like art. I love art, more specifically, I love COLOR. But “I have no creativity,” says the voice.
The dialogue I have with myself, my inner *I*, has made me suffer for so very much of my life. The last two years I feel like my life has opened up tenfold, and although that feels so good, it also makes me very sad. That perspective comes with the ability to ‘see’ how much I *wasted* the time I’ve had here living. Why do we do it? Why do we are beat ourselves up so much? We really think somehow that all the cruelty and judgment is keeping us in check, keeping us somehow less inadequate than we are beating ourselves up for being.
But the dialogue doesn’t actually do that. It simply makes us miserable. WE are still fundamentally US. And we always will be. That dialogue reel of torment we ALLOW to play constantly in our background simply decides if we enjoy it or not. I, for one, am done wasting the gift of the time I have here to experience living. I’m done wasting it. I’m good enough just as I am. I’m seeing now, in the last two years, that the voice I listened to that said I should stay invisible was only making me miss out. That voice LIES. The only way you can realize it though is to prove it wrong by DOING. Just DO the thing that it says you can’t do or that you are not. Do it, in whatever baby-steps are something you can handle, and little by little you will realize how wrong the voice is, how much it lies. How evil it is. How much it has robbed from you.
DO the thing you fear, DO something in the direction towards where you ‘wish’ you were but don’t believe you are. Every time you do something a little outside of your comfort zone, a little outside of that identity that you allow yourself to have, you will erode your false belief that the “you can’t do that” voice is accurate.
It’s true, I’ll prove it. I’ve always wanted to sing – but I could ‘never’ (ever) be that brave. In junior high, I wanted to try out for a solo part in our choir class. But I was AFRAID that people would think I was so bad that I was ridiculous for even THINKING I had a chance of getting it. So I never even auditioned, I never even tried. I can still remember sitting in the audience hearing the girls that auditioned and wishing I could be up there. But this month, sing I did. An original song no less, at an open mic night in my town. Wrote that song some thirteen years ago and was never brave enough to share it… well as they say, better late than never. Keep in mind, there were MANY baby-steps leading up to this…the evolution of who I hold myself to be. Don’t think I just decided one day and did it (though that would be even more impressive … feel free to show me up and do that yourself with whatever your ‘thing’ is!). I’m sharing this video, and it’s not even about whether it is good or not, it is about the fact that I DID it. I did it once, and if I choose to, I now know I could do it again. It no longer holds power over me of something I’m ‘not worthy of’, or ‘not good enough for’. I am free. By doing it, I have proved wrong the voice that said “I could never be that person”, and that really is the way that it works. We do the thing, then believe the thing. We hold ourselves back by falsely believing that the confidence has to come first — that we have to somehow “earn” the label, before we are “allowed” to do it. Confidence comes from an identity (e.g. “I am” statements): “I am a singer”, “I am an artist”. You logically can’t have that as an identity if you have not DONE the thing ever – I mean, it makes sense, right? So DO the thing, as a logical STEP towards becoming someone with that identity, which then eventually gives you confidence. Over the last year, I’ve painted over a hundred paintings (after not touching art for two decades) – now, a hundred in, I’m *finally* accepting the identity that I guess I am an artist – so trust me, the identity and confidence comes after, not before.
So what are you called to do? What is a step you can take towards that, one that may be a little scary – but that would also make you feel a little more alive?
Here’s me, feeling a little more alive 😉