Posted by: scintillatingspeck | January 19, 2014

Pushing through.

It’s the only way.  You know it.  Any time you write, or show images of yourself, or open your heart, this is the risk you run.  Maybe it will get easier.  Maybe it won’t.

I’m talking to myself, the fingerprints of shame leaving bruises all over my spirit.

Is it any wonder you feel so vulnerable?  You’re about to put yourself Out There, through Kickstarter and your project, and you don’t know how people will respond.  You’re attempting to summarize the most important questions burning in you, the essence of your life right now, in a short-yet-utterly-compelling way, and you are opening yourself to judgment.  You fear that you won’t be compelling at all, that you won’t do justice to what you perceive and feel and think, and that people will be indifferent, or critical, or mocking.  You fear that you will go SPLAT right on your face.

I can’t do this.  I can’t.  How am I supposed to do this?  I’m not a filmmaker.  And it’s not just the technical issues.  In one video from today, I’m giving Lily a piggyback-ride and going down the bike path, with the camera behind us, and I can’t stand the sight of my behind.  That was the worst of it, but seeing myself on video at all is excruciating.

You can.  You don’t have to, nobody is requiring you to do this, but you can.  The way you do it is moment by moment.  You encounter a hurdle, you find a way around it.  You hate the sight of your butt?  Don’t show that part.  You worry that you don’t have enough time or help to make this Kickstarter as good as it can be?  Then it will be what it is.  And if nobody finds it compelling, it doesn’t matter.  Listen, you are a speck.  Your life is so short and so tiny.  What are you afraid of?

I’m afraid of feeling ashamed and worthless.

You’ve already felt that way a couple thousand times.  Why let it stop you from living your life?  Why let it keep you from taking necessary risks?  If you’re going to feel that way anyway, why not give yourself a chance, at least, to show yourself you can do things you thought you couldn’t do?  If your Kickstarter is a spectacular failure, you can tell yourself this:  you tried something new and ambitious.  You did something a lot of other people never attempt to do.  You learned a lot.  You had some people cheering you on, regardless, people who love you even if you fail, even if you never write another word.

It’s true.  I can’t dispute you, I mean, me.  It’s why I can’t allow myself to stop.

There are some people whose endurance is plainly visible.  It’s not hard to be inspired by the sight of a marathon runner, for example.  I don’t mean a top athlete, though- I mean the sort of runner where you can see that every step is a struggle, that it’s sheer grit keeping her going through the pain and the impulse to lie down in the middle of the road and not move another inch.  Still, she keeps going, her face a grimace, her exhaustion apparent.

It’s more difficult to see the sort of endurance it takes to keep going through invisible marathons.  What grit does it take to claw one’s way through the muck of shame and still speak out loud?  What degree of tenaciousness does it take to raise one’s head above the swamp of worthlessness, to shake off the icy fingers of anxiety, and be willing to be seen?

at Fitzgerald Lake



  1. sweet are the uses of adversity, which like the horned toad, wears a crown upon her head.

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