“Once we believe in ourselves we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight or any experience that reveals the human spirit.” – E. E. Cummings
I am going to experiment with this blog and see how it goes writing shorter posts more frequently. Lately I have been frenzied and torn among all the things I am writing, and I have let that small annoying part of me that believes in lack and limitation chatter through my brain:
If you had made that blog post longer, you could have submitted it as a memoir piece somewhere and actually gotten Published.
The more you work on your blog, the less you can work on other things.
You remember that you aren’t Published, right? Just checking.
How is that memoir about your eyelashes going? Poorly and slowly? Don’t bother – no one will be interested either way.
You’re writing another book too? About creative empowerment? How nice, too bad you don’t have any accomplishments to your name that would make people listen to you.
And so on and so forth, until it overwhelms me to the point of numbness where I stop working on my writing at all. I could recreate this exercise for all the other non-writing components of my life, but the point isn’t to expose how neurotic I can get. The point is this:
We are all powerful beings, supernovas really, that are capable of experiencing all the bliss and zestiness and miracles of the universe. We are fabulous and magnificent and worthy of our desires. We are bombarded from all angles by things to be grateful for, and we are living in an age of tremendous evolution and growth.
Yet we sabotage ourselves far more than anyone else sabotages us.
In fact, no matter how many people we blame for our own problems, we have more power than anyone else in the world to crush our own dreams. We kill our dreams by engaging in negative self-talk and by choosing to believe in the limitations that have been put on us by our families, our society, our health, and the mean girl at the lunch table in seventh grade.
We piss away our holy time by sitting on the internet for hours, and then we lament to anyone who will listen that we just don’t have time for making our dreams come to life, that it’s just too hard to balance everything.
We let ourselves believe that success must be a struggle, that nothing good comes easily, and that we must fight to prove our worth before we can become Somebody. We have let ourselves believe that we are what we do, and that we especially are the gaping holes of what we have not done. We tell ourselves that we’re too old, too young, too hysterical, too inexperienced, or too weird-looking to chase after our glowing dreams.
And then we pretend that we are Okay, that we didn’t want happiness anyways, that Daily Life is a suitable alternative for the life we have been imagining. We lick our wounds by telling ourselves that no one likes their jobs anyways, that all men (or women) are jerks, that the world will always be stacked against us, and that we shouldn’t be so unrealistic as to demand a life worth living.
Stop. Just for a second.
Watch how quickly we cocoon into these thoughts and get caught in our own psychic crossfire. No wonder our dreams become so paralyzed.
The next time you unravel into a negative conversation with yourself like the one above, allow yourself to pause and gently examine how you are harnessing your own power to bring yourself down. Notice it. No need to judge it, but make a commitment to become keenly aware of every point in the day when you ebb into this pool of self-criticism.
(This is where you may be tempted to judge yourself. Remember that these negative thoughts are like wispy clouds that dance across the sky at a glittering summer picnic with your friends. We observe the shape and color of the clouds, laugh, and continue on. We don’t hate the clouds for existing, and we certainly don’t decide that the entire sky is useless.)
We are not weird, crazy, or un-spiritual for accidentally sabotaging our own success. Our difficulties do not mean we are lazy or useless. The big secret is that everyone does this to themselves, but not everyone admits it – it’s easier to stay snuggled in our cocoons of the status quo.
As we open our eyes to the ways that we block ourselves from living our most vibrant lives, doors open up and “Aha!” moments occur. So let’s speak to ourselves nicely, as if we still harbor all the secrets and joy and wonder of our seven-year-old selves. And let’s laugh in the playful recognition that we sometimes are our own worst enemies – and let’s dare to love ourselves anyways.
Love & Wonder Forever,
(Do you like this piece? Hate it? Can you relate to this experience? Share your wisdom in the comments section!)