Episode 54: Only & Just
Morning, Sunshines! Happy Brunch Sunday from Florida. Let's raise our mimosas or mugs and clink a cheers to a bit of connection between work, notices and ads in our inbox. Written with a London accent in my head. Reading with an accent is completely your next best decision.
I have a beautifully cheery accountability partner. No, not those two, the writing one.
We are accountable to each other for our writing habits.
We are writers-authors and our hope is to push each other to go further than we would otherwise go alone.
I would like to thank her for today's topic.
Accountability is awesome.
The impetus for Only & Just: my writing partner was reporting this week with these qualifying words of Only and Just.
We use these words all the time:
I only accomplished __________.
I'm just a __________.
Every time we use these words in this way, we are gently stabbing at our spirit.
(Nope, not enough.)
Argue with me. Tell me that this language choice pushes you to do better.
Do you accomplish more because you painfully push yourself?
Are these tiny bruises motivating?
My view is this: that type of pushing is detrimental.
Bits at a time, being chiseled off, like limestone sculpting with warped hand tools.
And what does this create, in the end?
When we step back a little, blur the eyes, every action we take today has a lasting result.
I'm not talking about not wearing a breathing mask and getting Covid.
Back it up even further.
I am preaching as the poster child of this post.
What is the result of Only & Just?
I have told myself for years that each little accomplishment, every success, was Only.
It won't be enough.
I'm currently managing a few things. I could list them, but then I'd think that you'd think I was fishing for sympathy or compassion, or even the far off idea that you might be impressed with my load.
And those are just thoughts.
This week, the fearful thoughts of mismanaging, through miscommunication, that I would fail... Those thoughts were intense. Perhaps we have tapped into a nugget of belief.
That it won't work out for me.
All of this...won't be enough.
There's the golden thought.
Does anyone want to see my fear?
Is that what this blog is really going to be about?
Is this what I want my life to say?
There is, on Side B, an OWNING, to a smaller degree. Good and bad.
Owning the success and owning the failure.
Every belief, opinion, and thought process that is mine--
good and great and ridiculous, has a home in my head.
Yesterday, I fought with the fear,
pushed it down,
ate ice cream on top of it.
And a handful of Tums.
I was so desperate to feel better. THIS DOESN'T FEEL GOOD.
Frantically scraping for a better feeling, denying the fear a right to BE.
We are not supposed to be happy all of the time.
The worst advice I ever received was, "Fake it 'til you make it."
Faking... Masks. Disingenuous and inauthentic. Oh, how that matters to me.
I adore HONESTY.
I want to be CANDID and SINCERE.
This week, I planned to write a F U N blog. Dang it, couldn't I (just) escape all of these messy feelings, and (just) be fun and happy?
Of course, it would be great to have fun and be happy. Of course.
It's okay. I can sit in it for a while. Acknowledge a "negative" feeling.
Feel it without being afraid it will crush me.
There is no perfect.
It's not healthy to pretend that there is a perfect.
I'm going to get into your thought bubble--
maybe some of you are thinking about the verse in the New Testament.
Isn't perfect a commandment? a DO?
We don't DO perfect.
We ARE perfect.
I am perfectly afraid, and that is okay.
I am perfectly capable, and capable of improving on things I don't like about myself.
But there is no pretending to be perfect.
All the actions in the world will not convince me otherwise.
Today's Deep Breath: here's a practical juju nugget, a collective Next Best Decision.
What's the harm? In this pretending to be perfect?
It isolates me.
We share the mask with those around us. Our people. Work, family.
Maybe even our children... and our spouse.
The more you present this perfect image, the smaller you become.
The real you.
Hidden, but smiling on the outside.
Maybe you think, Yes, but if I keep chiseling off the bits, the end result will be GLORIOUS!
Where does the real you retreat to? What space is there, left, to hide your feelings?
Yes, this is scary: tearing off the mask, throwing it away and BEING me.
There is a belief, of course, that no one wants to know.
But much more than that, I don't want to be uncomfortable.
That's the work. I'm thrilled to be alive, to have time to work on this bit of me.
It's okay to feel bad.
Because tomorrow, I may feel amazing.