Be Brave

Life requires such bravery.

Visibility is almost always obstructed by traffic or a mountain or a cloud.

But take another step into the fog.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Why Writing Is Worthwhile (even when you are unsure what you are writing or why)

“I am a writer.”

“What are you writing?”

“Well … Nothing in particular … Lots of things, but not one thing specifically … I mean, nothing I can publish or anything … I mean, nothing ….”

Does this sound familiar to anyone?  I hope I’m not alone in this. Why all the qualifiers? What makes our writing worthy or unworthy?  Does it have to be published to be worthy? Are we real writers if we don’t have a specific project in process?  What gives our writing value?

We writers like to place our thoughts onto the page. We like to string words together. We like to play with them. We pull over to the side of the road while we are driving just to scribble thoughts on scraps of paper before they fly out the window.

Our writing is worthwhile, just because we do it, but here a few more reasons why:

  • Morning pages” are worthwhile, even though they’re often grammatically-incorrect ramblings. Getting our thoughts and feelings out of our heads and onto the page clears away the clutter, settles our monkey mind, gets our fingers moving and the ideas flowing.
  • Even if a fully fledged piece doesn’t emerge, exploring an idea on the page is worthwhile. We could leave the scrap of paper on the floorboard of our car, or we could explore it a little and give it a chance to grow into something meaningful.
  • Commenting on articles or posts is worthwhile. Why not take part in the conversation? And forcing ourselves to encapsulate our opinions into coherent, persuasive arguments helps tighten lazy thinking.
  • Publishing pieces on our personal blogs or even anonymously has value simply in the act of sharing insights and experiences that another person may find helpful or entertaining.
  • Even texting can be worthwhile, sometimes building and deepening our relationships. I think of texts from my best friend at just the right moment offering a thoughtful insight or encouragement.
  • Writing down our memories and processing difficult life experiences is extremely worthwhile even if we will never share them. It helps us learn about ourselves and move through the hard stuff.

I’m not sure why we tend dismiss such an essential part of who we are. I suppose it’s fear. (Isn’t the answer always fear?) Fear grabs ahold of us when we are vulnerable. And writing definitely makes us vulnerable. Nevertheless, I am compelled to keep stringing words together, whether I am brave enough to share them or not.

I don’t understand …

I don’t understand why some dogs bark at all other dogs.

I don’t understand how anyone would think Donald Trump should be the actual president.

I don’t understand why it’s harder to lose weight than it is to lose your mind.

I don’t understand whether it’s better to have high expectations or low.

I don’t understand why people judge one another so harshly.

I don’t understand why it’s so hard to recognize our shared humanity.

 

Me

Flats of various colors and designs

Tank tops with cardigans

Curly hair

Long legs

Coffee – no sugar, no sweetener, no flavoring

Sunsets

Fresh flowers

Poetry

Classical music

The Jam, English Beat, Violent Femmes

Smiling

Sunshine

Dogs

Walks

Journals

Lists

Baking

Home cooking

A good cry

Therapy

Flight

Friends

Meditation

Introspection

Writing

Judgment

Quiet

Asthma inhaler

Two sizes too big

Thoughtfulness

Strength

Cold beer

Ginger ale

Busy

Caring

Courage

Critical eye

Unattached

Blue

Being loved

Seek Not for Love

Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.–A Course in Miracles

My task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within myself that I have built against it.

My task is not to seek for creativity, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within myself that I have built against it.

My task is not to seek for health, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within myself that I have built against it.

My task is not to seek for friendship, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within myself that I have built against it.

My task is not to seek for fortune, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within myself that I have built against it.

My task is not to seek for energy, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within myself that I have built against it.

My task is not to seek for authenticy, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within myself that I have built against it.

My task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all that barriers within myself that I have built against it.

Critic, move on

I had just sat down to write in my journal, but my thoughts were scattered and I was starting to feel pressured by the clock. I only had 45 minutes before I needed to leave. I hadn’t writen anything today.  I was thinking I should, but I didn’t. I was down on myself for “wasting” the morning away.

“I’m a f**king idiot who has nothing to offer.”  That’s what I just heard myself tell myself.  WTF?  What am I going to do with the merciless judge and jury in my head?

Should I sit here and try to gather evidence that I am worthwhile? Should I debate the point? Should I make a list of my good qualities and try to convince myself that I actually do helpful and meaningful things and some people like me. I am not an idiot. And I do have something to offer. But for some reason, this inspector general is never satisfied. It always wants more. More more more more more more more.

Should I distract myself from this internal argument? The thought of a cookie passes through my mind. But I know I am not hungry. I could turn on the computer. I could turn on the radio, go sit in front of the tv, browse through Amazon or play a game of free cell. Any of these things would distract me from the angst I am feeling.

But I don’t feel like fighting or flighting.

I sit for a moment and observe. I close my eyes and take a deep breath. I was happy just a few hours ago; but now I am low. Every feeling is temporary. This one feels like crap, let it pass through. Do not attach to it. Do not dive in and analyze, just observe.

I feel it dissolving. Just watch, it is a puff of smoke. I am lighter now. I am free.

Mental note: Don’t take that critic so seriously. It’s flimsy and weak. Don’t give it the power to bring you down.