Opening. And then I close.
Possibility. And then a wall.
Sending out messages to others – invitations, queries. Throwing doors open wide.
But the very next day wanting to close the same doors out of fear and shame.
Fear of failure. Fear of not being heard. Fear of being too small.
And then I open again: “Yes! Yes! Come in. Let’s have tea. Let’s schedule a meeting. Let’s foray into the future – arm in arm.”
I am wearying of this back and forth.
No explorer ever got anywhere by moving ahead a mile only to navigate back one the next.
How do you stay open? How do you stay with the fear, the shame, the tiniest parts of you that verge on being the biggest?
I ran across this today. It was coupled on the website BrainPickings.org with one of my favorite songs – “Naive Melody” by the Talking Heads.
“I discovered these common, self imposed restrictions are rather insidious, though they start out simple enough. We begin by worrying we aren’t good enough, smart enough or talented enough to get what we want, then we voluntarily live in this paralyzing mental framework, rather than confront our own role in this paralysis. Just the possibility of failing turns into a dutiful self-fulfilling prophecy. We begin to believe that these personal restrictions are, in fact, the fixed limitations of the world. We go on to live our lives, all the while wondering what we can change and how we can change it, and we calculate and re-calculate when we will be ready to do the things we want to do. And we dream. If only. If only. One day. Some day.
“Every once in a while — often when we least expect it — we encounter someone more courageous, someone who chose to strive for that which (to us) seemed unrealistically unattainable, even elusive. And we marvel. We swoon. We gape. Often , we are in awe. I think we look at these people as lucky, when in fact, luck has nothing to do with it. It is really about the strength of their imagination; it is about how they constructed the possibilities for their Life. In short, unlike me, they didn’t determine what was impossible before it was even possible.
“If you imagine less, less will be what you undoubtedly deserve. Do what you love, and don’t stop until you get what you love. Work as hard as you can, imagine immensities, don’t compromise, and don’t waste time. Start now. Not 20 years from now, not two weeks from now. Now.”
~ Debbie Millman, Look Both Ways: Illustrated Essays on the Intersection of Life and Design (with thanks to BrainPickings)