I re-started reading The Artist’s Way. I’d started it earlier this year. Only got through the introduction and the first chapter. Only exercises I got to was the ‘morning pages’ one (three pages stream-of-consciousness unedited free-form writing right upon awaking). And then stopped. I think I was too rigid about it. Like, if I didn’t do them right away in the morning I thought I’d failed. So, then I was like, “oh, well I just failed at that.” LIke it was a course and I guess I thought I had to wait to re-take the course until the following semester…haha!
Well, I guess it is the next semester. And this time I’m not so rigid. It’s like this time I realize the course is for ME! Only for my growth. It can only help me. And there is no use beating myself up over something or trying to punish myself. I finally got it–THERE ARE NO MORE GRADES ANYMORE!!! And–THERE NEVER REALLY WERE! I was always an ‘A’ student. But, I let that define me. And so, became really really scared of failure b/c that was not me…or the me I’d constructed or allowed others to construct or both. Same thing with my whole body-image struggle, because I was always ‘the skinny one’ growing up and in amongst my group of friends and to not be that is something I’ve always feared b/c once again that would go against the ego-constructed image of myself.
Well, that image is dependent upon perceptions–mainly those others have of me. And allowing those others’ perceptions define who I am. How exhausting! How lame. No more.
Have had several long, in-depth, honest conversations with a friend who right now in my life knows/feels me better than anyone else does/has. I choose not to define this friend as my ‘best friend’ or anything else really, because I feel that would serve either of us nor anyone else. I choose for this friend to be my friend–in the truest, deepest, most vulnerable sense of that intimate relationship. But, anyway, this friend has been hammering it home to me the ridiculousness of some of my thoughts and actions surrounding other people’s perception of me. More directly, my friend has been trying to tell me for months that NO ONE ELSE’S OPINION/PERCEPTION/THOUGHT OF ME MATTERS! It is all about how I feel! Not how I think, mind you–how I FEEL! Do I feel good? If so, great! Stay there. Don’t fight/question it.
“Love myself, for crying out loud!” has finally sunk in! And thank you Friend for yelling it at me over and over and over again until I got it. Thank you for getting angry with me and “wagging your finger” at me via text message while I broke down unable to reconcile my ego’s need to ravage, destroy, terrorize, and sabotage myself and my soul’s true longing and desire just to Love. So lucky my soul is stronger! 😉 Because at the end of the day–when my inner battle is all fought out–my soul WINS…because THAT IS WHO I AM–TRULY WHOLLY and MAGNIFICENTLY.
Friend also taught me–some time ago–that these feelings–these highs and these lows–all come and go and pass by just as the tide comes in and goes out…without judgment or label of which is ‘good’ and which is ‘bad’. And it is so very beautiful to accept this and to watch the beauty and majesty of the waves in their unchoreographed/unrearsed dance–;)
So, this feeling I’m feeling right now of on-top-of-the-worldness, is either the tide coming or going…and I don’t know which and do not at all care to. ANd it will come or go again. And I am just watching it in all its beauty and majesty do one of my favorite things–DANCE! I get to dance the dance, but am unattached to the song…and also learning to become unattached to my dance partners whomever they may be at whatever time in my life.
So, it is 6:29PM and I am writing my ‘morning pages’ for today. Me 9 months ago would have probably not accepted this as ‘counting’ in the Artist’s Way course and thought today a failed day in the course. But the me today right now–tide where it is–accepts it…even though I did no ‘morning pages’ and no writing at all yesterday. That also was not a failure. It all just is.
And I’m smiling right now as I sit and sip my lemon/cayenne tea as the sky turns from dark blue to black on this fall evening…writing my ‘morning pages.’