*Author’s note: Before I get started here, I would just like to say, I love it when you come to visit. Yes, I mean you. I would love to sit down and have a chat with you. I would love to hear what you have to say on whatever I write about. So, if you come by, why not leave me your calling card, or a nice little note that let’s me know you were here? Frankly, it encourages me to keep doing what I’m doing. In other words comments are welcome and encouraged here. I generally leave a little question at the end as a prompt to get a discussion going. You can answer it, or not, as you prefer.
I had a powerful experience on Saturday that got my juices flowing and the wheels spinning for my little bloggity once again. The sucky experience that I am having is still sucky and I am still experiencing it. But, I feel the need to talk about something that I feel is very foundational to overcoming emotional difficulties: knowing yourself.
In “The Matrix” Neo goes to visit the Oracle to find out if he is “The One” (i.e. the savior of their world). She points to her little sign in her kitchen (which says Temet Nosce, by the way. This is just a variation of the phrase) above the doorway and explains to him rather bluntly that if you are something, you just know it. You don’t need to be convinced by your friends, you don’t need constant reassurance, you just know it. I know that I am a good mother. I know that I am an artist. I know that I am gifted in counseling others. I know that I am a Christian. I don’t need other’s to affirm this, I just know.
I truly feel that I am meant to do this blog, and to write books. But, one thing I have had a hard time convincing myself of is that I AM a writer. As in, “this is my identity.” As in, “Hi. I’m Stephanie. I’m a writer” (Not that I would actually introduce myself that way. But, I think you get my point). I feel a little surprised when people praise my work here on this blog. Sometimes, I almost don’t believe them. Silly, I know.
This is mostly because I find writing to be a difficult, sometimes agonizing, experience. I’m not goo-goo eyed over writing like some authors. It takes me twice as long as normal people to write anything of worth or significance. I find it excruciating to get started most of the time. I find it difficult to maintain my focus once I get going. I feel guilt for spending 2.5 hours writing 600 words. I have to manage my ADHD and other learning difficulties to finish my task. In other words, I just don’t LOVE writing like I love doing other things. I have asked myself more than once, “How can I BE a writer if I don’t LOVE it?”
This question has stopped me from moving forward in doing the things that I am meant to do. I just couldn’t see myself doing the things I am meant to do because I couldn’t (or perhaps wouldn’t?) believe in my identity as an writer.
But Saturday changed all of that. I met with about 4 other people. 2 of whom I have known a really long time, 1 I knew fairly well, and 1 I sort of knew a little. We met together to encourage each other. To help each other overcome the log jams stopping us from flowing in our gifts. I spoke for a while about where I was on a few things, including the I’m-supposed-to write-books-but-can’t-get-started-because-I-don’t-believe-I-am-an-author problem. The leader of our group (Rob Stoppard. A great guy, you should check him out) said to me people get stopped up in doing what they are meant to do because they believe lies about themselves. Lies like “I don’t love writing so how can I be a writer”, or “I am never going to change”, or “I can’t change”, or “I will always be (fill in the blank)“, or whatever you say about yourself.
The only way to combat this is to change your habit of lying to yourself, and start telling yourself the truth. I think if you look deep in your heart you can find your gifts, your talents, and your identity. It’s like a treasure box just waiting to be opened, and you hold the key to open that treasure box. And, if you open it you have to decide what you believe about what’s inside. You have to decide that the treasure is who you are, or not. But sometimes, even we do this, we get lost on our way back. Parts of the treasure get lost and never make it home. Like me and this writing thing.
The group had me do an exercise that has forever changed my life. They first asked me to look in the mirror and say out loud to myself, “I am a writer.” I felt more than a little shy about doing this. So, they offered themselves up to act as a sort of mirror. I had to look people in the eye and say out loud, “I am a writer.” They took it one step further and had me say, “I am a famous writer.” And although it was a little difficult to look people in the eye and say these truths out loud, I did just that several times. I stated a few other things I have had a hard time believing lately as well. As soon as I said these things, it’s like a spotlight was suddenly focused on my poor, lost treasures. I could find them, and bring them home. I could take them within my psyche and revel in the simple pleasure of knowing myself. It was like being born again.
And now, I feel free to do what I am mean to do. I believe that I am a writer. That even I can be a famous writer.
And you are free to discover things about yourself you never knew. You can go on a quest to find your treasure, to change your life into something better, to become who you are meant to be.
It’s your turn now…
Tell me something you know about yourself…