And it’s not just today. I know these feelings and this risk. I recognize them as the perennial tension of being a creative, of being the love. I can recall countless times of feeling just like this. I’ve grown familiar with the chatter in my head that surrounds the audacious task of offering something out into the world.
Some voices ramble around in my mind about whether people will criticize or reject my offerings. Others are about whether I am worthy to create and give. Sometimes the chatter focuses on whether I’m putting out my best work. Even though I might say I want to live more vulnerably, the thought of releasing my creations to others sometimes makes me want to (try to) give up my creativity forever.
On my best days, Marianne Williamson is there amidst the noise to return me to love:
“We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?”
Yep, Who am I? That’s exactly what I’m asking.
“Actually, who are you not to be?”
Well, people might not like it or I will get it wrong. Someone else can probably do it better.
“Your playing small does not serve the world.”
Oh, but small feels so much more safe…You’re right, you’re right. And I want to serve the world.
“We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.”
[Sigh.] Yes, I was. And that glory lives within me. I will manifest it!
On these days when I am feeling sheepish my practice is to try and remember I have already survived putting something out for others to turn over in their hands and play with. And sometimes people have responded, “Thank you! I love what you’ve shared.”
* all block quotes from A Return to Love, by Marianne Williamson
image credit: top – original art by Kye Flannery. A note from the artist to us all: “This is a message for you if you are wondering if you, as you are, are really ____ enough to go for that thing/position/person/project that really excites and challenges you.”