Staring at a blank page, for some it's intimidating, but for me it's an invitation to create, to write, to fill it with words that have no direction or purpose, yet...
So I begin... once upon a time, or something like that... and words flow. From my muse, to my mind, to the paper. Still nothing planned, just writing whatever comes out.
Many papers are partially filled and suddenly I crumple what I have just penned - dissatisfied or uncomfortable. Other pages have a slightly longer shelf life, but I quickly lose interest or curiosity, and they are soon shredded and trashed. I regularly give myself permission to explore and dabble with whatever arises - and sometimes I am rewarded with rough stones requiring polishing.
This is what fuels my creativity and feeds my soul. I am blessed with a gift - to have a muse who speaks to me (sometimes a whisper, other times loudly, often at inconvenient times) and I have learned that by paying attention, there is a good possibility that I will create something that I feel is worthy of sharing with others.
At times I must face the enemy. It's not a hostile neighbour, an angry employer or even a bitter ex - in fact this enemy is someone very close to me. Every time I look in the mirror, I know the reflection is going to be either that of my number one fan, or my worst enemy. How can I possibly be both?
Every thing has a polar opposite. Within each of us there is a light, optimistic, supportive side of that cheers us on and wants all our dreams to come true, as well, there is the dark and sinister enemy self - filling our heads with negative comments and bashes us on everything we try to do.
'BUT, I have goals and aspirations for my success' pipes up my optimistic self.
'RAH RAH', mocks my dark side, with a tinge of sarcasm. Suddenly the loud voices of self-doubt and sabotage arise from within.
If I'm strong enough not to entertain despair, I will file the pages away, and make a mental note for myself that, 'I'll look at them again another time'.
However, if I'm slightly leaning toward disdain with my efforts, I could easily agree that 'This is crap, why do I even bother?'. (The papers in the garbage have usually wound up there after a bout of self-loathing and a comment that I have told myself that sounds something like 'No one cares. You have nothing to say. It's pretty clear you lack talent/skill/ability/success...')
I have engaged in some not so pretty self-pity parties where I tune out the world and turn into a blubbering pile of mush. I can pull myself out of it in a short time, feeling a little embarrassed, but until now, no one knew about this except for me...
An unfortunate consequence of the self-bashing moments is the damage it does to MUSE, who rightly believes in her brilliance and is quite put off when anyone critiques her. I try hard to protect her from being subjected to my dark side, but I always know if she's been offended - she disappears for awhile. (I guess she has her own ritual for healing from her wounds).
Luckily I never completely bought into the negative chatter bullshit or believed that I'm the 'hack' that my dark side would like to have me believe. My bright side has worked hard over the years to quiet the negative chatter as quickly as possible. I have found that to allow those voices a moment or two to have their say is much healthier for me than to try to silence them completely.
Yes, there was a time where the dark side was very persuasive and powerful and worked hard to convince me that I should give up my dreams and aspirations. And although I have put them aside and even away for a little while, thankfully, not permanently.
Yes, it is much easier to give up than do the work, to give up on fully stepping into life, and dreams, and aspirations. Yes it's almost comforting to be a pile of mush and not have to take charge of what's next.
I know that I won't always be a success - but I also know that if I don't do anything, I won't ever be a success.
It has taken years of persistence, insistence and self-discipline to be able to step into the unknown, to take a chance and move forward, closer to the goal, all the while maintaining hope for the best outcome possible. It takes tremendous courage to face my own dark side.
In knowing that the real enemy isn't someone else and the most discouraging words will never come from another person or an opinion of me or what I do. The real enemy will always reside within me, and even though there was a time where I believed all the negative shit that I told myself and would decide it's easier to quit, now I spend more time focused on my number one fan, my biggest supporter, my bright side. And in that focus, I step into my own spotlight, a little closer to making my dreams my reality!