I’ve often told myself that before I can reach for whatever it is that makes my heart thump and the wheels in my head turn with inspiration I need to deserve it. I’ve done this to myself even when it comes to relationships. I realize this has been going on for so long that the response is almost immediate when I look at someone: people like that don’t end up with people like me. Or what makes me think that I can get that? That happened to me today while I was thinking about writing and publishing and all of a sudden my head snapped back in a sort of “oh hell no you didn’t” attitude whiplash.
I’ve been telling myself that I need to deserve something before I can even begin to desire that it become a reality. And that, has been crippling. I’ve been hobbling myself and my creativity with the power of my own mind. It kind of makes me like the Jean Grey of negative thinking. Look, Mom I’ve got a superpower!! I think the time is a little overdue that I start using my psychic brain powers for a different cause.
My friends tell me that I’m a true, loyal, compassionate, nonjudgmental companion that they’re blessed to have in their lives. I need to start being that kind of friend to myself. What in the hell makes me think that I don’t deserve to desire everything that’s in my heart? Even when I was younger, I remember tailoring my ideas of what I wanted to be when I grow up to professions that wouldn’t cause anyone else discomfort or rock the boat. As it turned out, I never really wanted to change the world through politics, or save one life at a time as a doctor. But writing…that’s been something I’ve wanted to be since I started asking myself the question.
I wanted to change the world with words, and create new spaces for people to live just as other authors had done for me. When I had rough days ( and that was often), I would settle in with a good book and simply go somewhere else. I had power over where I went, and I had the limitless options to choose where I would go, who I would hang out with, and I learned to trust authors that gave me the endings that I hoped for.
I wanted to save a life, one book at a time. Challenge ideas of beauty and romance and look at all the different ways love was possible. That’s still me in a way. I crave unconventional relationships, and I love the kinds of connections that you don’t find everyday. I suppose it’s no surprise that I love women. I’ve searched for connections that are deep and get not only into your heart but into your soul. I love my friends with all of me, and it’s often difficult for me to treat friends differently than I would treat lovers. Okay, mostly cuz…don’t sleep with all your friends. That would just get messy. But I’ve never had a problem making my friends my Valentines. I buy gift for friends the way I would buy gifts for significant others. I need relationships and connections like I need food, air and water.
I need my writing just the same way. The amazing Tony Robbins said that if we want to change our lives we have to change the story that we tell ourselves. If you haven’t discovered Tony Robbins please do because he is a great, big, giant chunk of awesome. I know that I am an amazing storyteller. I’ve been told time and again. But the stories I’ve been telling myself about my life and my potential have all been crap. I’ve been casting myself in crummy roles in the movie of my life and I’m officially tired of it. I find myself moving like a pendulum. Swinging forward in surges of self growth and then sliding back into old self-limiting patters because of fear. Fear of rejection. Fear of disappointment. But the result is just that I never try. And the victory is not necessarily in that I win, but the accomplishment lies in the fact that I put my heart out there and tried.
In the end, if I write and it helps just one person…that is a blessing beyond my wildest dreams. Everything that I’ve thought that I needed to deserve before I started dreaming is already within me. I’ve already had all the gifts that I wished I had. I’ve known amazing people and have had earth-shaking heart-melting connections and relationships. Sure, some of them have sucked. But some of them make me smile to this day. For such an unconventional, open, and loyal woman to keep myself locked up tight in my own head almost seems selfish and unfair. So…I’ve been taking baby steps toward telling myself a new story.
A friend said to me the other day “You writing is just good for the world. Period.” With a heart full of gratitude, I’m starting with that. Planting new seeds, putting pen to paper and seeing what grows.
“I think the reward for conformity is that everyone likes you except yourself.”
― Rita Mae Brown
You really are not alone in this phenomenon of being hard on yourself, Avery Rose. Work with affirmations, read Louise Hay, make a list of all the best you have ever done and read it often….whatever it takes.
Your writing is excellent and you express yourself with such a rare truthful intimacy that I just bet so many people see themselves in your words and benefit from your expression of them.
Loving myself got much easier for me as I aged. I make a real point to be good to myself, reward myself in small and large ways and to jump into the books and positive thought writers whenever I waver some. Also spend time with people who believe in me.
This was an excellent post. Thank you.
Thank you Johanna, really, for all of your encouragement and your thoughtful insight. I’ve always thought that accepting oneself would get easier as a person aged. It seems that there are less people to present opposition to your feelings. That and, the fact that after we try everything else that we possibly can to make others happy, we then turn inward and realize that really, we should be listening to our own hearts and marching to the beat of that magnificent inner drum. Thanks again so much for your comments always. They really make a difference 🙂
I love this so much! I empathize with it, too. Someone told me that, if you never ask, the answer is always no. I lived most of my life thinking the opposite–they can’t say no if you don’t ask. So I didn’t. I didn’t ask things of others or of myself. I told myself I was saving myself from disappointment while essentially guaranteeing I’d be disappointed. It’s hard to remember, but so important. Be bold, be you. Most of all, keep writing!