As I stepped wholeheartedly into my year of discovery I wonder why it is so hard to embrace who I really am with nothing held back?
This week I read about a man who wanted to clean his small fish tank. He filled his bathtub with water and placed his fish in it. After he'd scrubbed the film from the small walls of their make believe deep, he went to retrieve his fish. He was astonished to discover that, though they had the entire tub to swim in, they were huddled in a small area the size of their tank.
There was nothing containing them...nothing holding them back, so why wouldn't they dart around freely? What had life in the tank done to their natural ability to swim? That story haunted me...I kept seeing those little fish going no where except into themselves.
Then I had a dream...I saw a woman in a basement room. She was very well taken care of, in need of no material possession, but seemed to be under house arrest. I saw her look wistfully through her high window to a bit of sky where a bird sailed full of grace and beauty. As she turned away from the window I could feel her painful loneliness for something she could not define.
I continued to watch from a distance, feeling sad for the woman, when suddenly I realized she was me. That's when I heard a voice saying, "The door is locked from the inside."
"The door is locked from the inside." So why didn't I walk out?
Why didn't I?
I began to ask myself some serious questions...
I have written four books, so why do I dread book signings?
Why do I pay good money for writing workshops and duck out the moment they move into groups to share about our work?
Why would someone who has known me for two years not know I am a published author? And... for that matter, after being well published with an established platform, why did I stop writing once for twenty years?
What am I afraid of?
Actually I knew the answer. My training started early. First with my family, then teachers, society, church, relationships, each sent messages, or outright told me, that certain actions, thoughts, jobs, attitudes, opinions, use of time, and clothes were unacceptable. Either they didn't want me to fail, or they were not comfortable with my success. I was given to know that stepping outside the 'tank' of 'our' value system was a risky and dangerous business.
I learned my lessons well. In trying to make other people happy I continued to swim in the 'tank' and shrunk my world until I lived in a self imposed captivity... especially in my gift as a writer.
Over the years I had jumped out of the tank now and then to create beauty and touch lives, but I had been unable to stay free and productive for any length of time. I was always second guessing myself.
I realized this week that the tape of my 'training' about my writing runs like a river through my soul...."you have no education you can't be a writer...who would want to read anything you wrote...I am miserable when you write..."all spoken by people I loved and who said they loved me.
I also realized that it was as though my mind was a bus and I had been letting others drive it.
So on The Journey I am making a few changes...
First: I began blogging last week with a deep commitment to continue. So far I have this blog My Journey: In Black & White....as well as one called Life After the Storm: Celebrating Survivors... http://lovingsurvivors.blogspot.com/
AND ...since I had a book signing setup for Family Secrets the day after my birthday, I made up my mind turn off old tape by creating a new one. After setting up...before the event began, I wrote in one of my black & while journals....
"I am an excellent writer...this is a great, potentially life changing book...I will talk to a bunch of great folks...have fun and sell books!! My books sell well...I love book signings...people love me and I love people. I vibrate with success, favor and energy...I am happy! "
All day long I played that tape and smiled. I began seeing myself with new eyes...and guess what!! It worked! I am having a wonderful time!! People say you can see it in my face.... (:
Now on my Journey, when I am endeavoring to clarify many things, I am asking... in what ways have I