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Thursday, April 9, 2009


"You get your confidence and intuition back by trusting yourself, by being militantly on your own side." Anne Lamott (from her book Bird by Bird)

Trust. I am more and more aware of how everything seems to come back to trust. Trusting that all is as it should be, trusting in my dreams and inspirations, trusting the creative process, trusting in myself.

This trusting has been a tough thing for me. My pattern has typically been to feel super inspired for a while, to feel clear and and open and brave, and then, when things start going a little sideways (like maybe someone is critical of what I've done or doesn't react positively) the doubting kicks in. I start wondering if I'm crazy to be doing what I'm doing, to sit for hours playing with paint or with pen in hand spilling myself on paper. I start to wonder what the point of it all is. Shouldn't I be doing something "productive," like the laundry, maybe?

When I attach to these doubts, start to really believe them to be true, then I find myself in a very ugly place--fast. I start the comparing game (now they are really talented). Poems or stories or paintings (of mine) that I once thought were good become too this or that, too sentimental, too exposing, too trite. From this place of doubt the world (and everything in it) becomes a judgmental and threatening place. The inspiration trickles to a slow drip and then turns off completely. I find myself doing the laundry instead of creating.

I'm learning so much from reading other brave women's blogs and I'm finding that when they really put themselves out there, push through their fears and doubts and expose their vulnerabilities, their stories/poems/paintings resonate with me. By exposing their truths, especially when they're revealing something less than "pretty" about themselves, they propel me forward and give me the courage to be brave too.

I'm learning to look at menacing thoughts and doubts with some distance now. Rather than attaching to and resisting, I observe and allow and accept. When I allow myself to be in that funky, not-feeling-good place, it feels much gentler and kinder. I feel compassion for myself.

From this place of compassion and vulnerability I have a lot to say. I can still express myself. When I'm real and honest about where I am, when I stay "militantly on my own side," things begin to open. Maybe through that openness and realness I will nudge another toward their own truth. I can't think of anything prettier or more worthwhile than that.

1 comment :

  1. Thanks for this writing,dear friend. Just what I needed today!


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♥ Julia