No one is listening to what you say. And that’s okay.
We often believe that we have to have something important to say because it is tied to our self-worth. I know that I have been subjected to this temptation more than once. That is why sometimes I’ll start a project, only to abandon it, because my ego wants to get praise quickly and fast. It’s been a long journey to even recognize at times when my ego is speaking. Sometimes it whispers things in my ear and I listen, even if I’m not sure what it has said or the consequences of its “advice.”
At some point in your life, as there is in mine, there was probably an impulse to create and to stand out. Perhaps you were one of the lucky few who didn’t have their creativity stamped out. Perhaps you were privileged to have it nourished. Or, more likely, someone else in a position of power had a fear based response that completely and utterly crushed your ego and sense of self-worth. There are times when that has happened to me so recently that I only need to count a few hours back to find the event. There are other days when the happiness seems to last forever, and I feel invincible. Untouchable. Wonderful.
In the grand scheme of things, we are meant to be insignificant and we are meant to be small. Yet that is hard to reconcile against the deepness and conviction to make ourselves feel comfortable and important when we are living. How do we reconcile these two seemingly polar opposition forces–on one hand, the deep desire to be special and unique, and the inevitable end towards which we become oblivion?
I do not have an answer, only a guess based on my limited understanding of the world at this time. I think it is about acceptance and forgiveness of what we do on a daily basis. Judgment is so easy; complaining is judgment’s best friend. There are times when these two make themselves at home in my mind and kick things like love, compassion, and reason aside.
In truth, we don’t know what will be important and significant. That is not for us to decide. We can value our own work, we may even take pride in it, but in the end it is our audience to decide its significance. And if there is not audience, then I love that.
I tell myself this when I feel upset about my creativity and my work: I don’t need an audience to know that my work is good. I have an internal compass inside that points me in the right direction, and a magnet called the heart that helps attract it in the right direction. And the more I listen to it the easier it becomes to trust myself. The less I listen to it, the harder it becomes. I cannot fight it. When I do, I am irritable. I cannot think straight. I cannot ignore the difficulty of confronting the truth, but at least it is less difficult than ignoring it altogether.
It seems that the older I get, the less certain of life I become. It’s funny because you’d think that experience will help you handle more things. And to some extent, it does, like mundane tasks such as paying the bills or filing your taxes. But experiences in life bring mistakes, and there will be a lot of them, and with that comes a choice that you can consider making. One is to feel like a victim or to blame yourself. The other is to be resilient and to know that often it is the situation, and not the person, which has caused a series of unfortunate events. Or perhaps it is not even about searching for the cause or answer at all, but about being open to the possibilities which materialize as you sit with the world swirling around you.
It’s difficult for me to describe how I feel today, in this moment. But I would describe it a little like being reborn for the second time. I feel newer and more confident than I did a year ago, that’s for sure. But I feel like at the same time I’ve been more aware of when I’ve been measuring myself against something; constantly comparing and then devaluing myself in the process. I’m a tiny bit more aware of my conditioned need for control, especially that of other people’s reactions. I’m well aware that I still struggle with confidence, love and belonging.
And I love that.
I cannot tell who reads these entries or what they say; I can only speak from the heart and hope that there is connection between you and me. It’s true that what I write may be dismissed as incomprehensible by some, and I love that, because perhaps the real meaning is found by feeling and not thinking in of itself.