Writing often opens hidden doors for me.
I've been writing a lot lately. Something happens to me when I'm writing in an unfamiliar world; buried stuff begins to surface. I'm beginning to see a huge connection between my loose-writing world and what I'm trying to make sense of in the real world. It opens wounds I didn't realize were there and reveals what I need to work on.
Truth is beautiful and deadly.
Deadly? Yes, because often when I'm faced with truth, a death has to happen to my old belief. If I always believed I was incapable of living a healthy life, then I must let that thought die and grab onto the new one that I can choose to live better. In the midst of being honest, I have to let go of what's not true. When a wrong belief surfaces and I tell the truth about it, death begins to happen. My old beliefs don't have the voice they once did and if I continue to tell the truth, soon my old beliefs fall silent in their graves.
It's not easy to tell the truth. It's difficult to face what we may have held as truth for a long time that we suddenly realize is a lie. Sometimes when this happens I want to sit down and quit. But when the truth turns on the light to the lies, it's extremely hard to go backwards and sometimes that makes me furious. But, as Marilyn Howshall says, sitting on the side of the road feeling sorry for yourself gets you nowhere. It's just a tantrum.
I've been prone to self-pity mind tantrums throughout my life. In the past year I've worked on listening to my conscience and catching myself in the midst of these tantrums and telling the truth. It's not easy to hear and sometimes I want to crawl under the blankets and have a sobbing two-year-old fit; swathing myself in self-condemnation and poor-me's so I don't have to face the truth that I have a choice. The truth is I don't have to stay here on the side of the road. I can get up. I can face that fear or that mistake or that failure. Because in the end what's going to happen when I do? Will I explode into a million pieces? Will I scream from fear until my voice gives out? What is the worst that can happen? That's the question I've started asking myself when I come to this crossroads. I sit there naming all that could happen ~ from the realistic to the ridiculous ~ and then, I tell the truth.
I can get up. I can take the first step. I can admit I'm wrong. I can do the thing I fear. I can move forward with shaking legs and trembling fingers.
Bravery is not the absence of fear, but the moving forward in spite of it.
Since we're talking about truth here, I'll be honest; I don't feel very brave. I'm the sort that would rather run than fight. But I've been standing lately, in spite of fearing that I'll melt on the spot. I'm learning what standing in the middle of fear feels like. It's terrifying. But it's also new and fresh and invigorating.
I'm learning that to accomplish what you need to in life you face your fear, forehead to forehead. Shaking, sweating and shivering; you stand firm and tell yourself the truth. The truth that yes you've failed. No, you're not who you want to be but you can change. Or maybe the truth that you have accomplished beautiful things and you're not a failure. You embrace that part of you that you've long held at a distance. You wrap your arms around it and pull it in close, choosing to make it part of your story.
Can you guess what word I've chosen for the year? In case it's not obvious, my word is brave. As cliche as that may be, it's what I need in my life. I'm aware now that my biggest fears will be realized; I will look stupid, be wrong, be misunderstood and unloved. But I will also grow, be right, be understood and loved.
Sometimes the bravest thing about living life is knowing we're both ~ terrified and brave, and telling the truth about it.
Have you replaced wrong beliefs with truth? Have you come forehead to forehead with fear?