I stumbled across this link via Facebook and didn’t realize just how profound this speech was going to be. Please take the 20 minutes to watch the entire speech. It’s amazing. Jim Carrey’s words were a confirmation to me that everything we want from this one life is ready for the taking….I truly hope that you enjoy it as much as I did.
I recently began an art journal collaboration with one of my dear friends. We work independently for one month following a list of prompts and then mail the journal to each other and again work independently in the other persons journal. This is a wonderful project that really has my brain working overtime creatively and my soul searching through introspection.
The most recent prompt was “If I could do it all again would I change anything?” Hmmm…now this certainly brings up some feels. I thought a lot about the struggles I’ve had in my life – some small…some not so small. I know for a fact that I didn’t always handle adversity with an open heart or mind. My patterns of denial, overwhelming sadness or straight up anger I’m sure didn’t contribute to any kind of internal resolution. The road to becoming who I am today has been bumpy, winding and most often uphill. But this is my own private road and I’ve learned to navigate the curves.
What good is the coulda, shoulda, woulda game though? I am who I am because of personal growth. All the bruises that I’ve accumulated along the way have gently molded my soul. I really feel that 20/20 hindsight minimizes the journey. If I had a magic wand and could change the past I’d take a pass. For all the ugly that there has been – the stupid choices, the venom of anger, the sting of regret, the hollow of sadness…there has been immense joy. The moments where my heart has exploded with love, the chills from feeling the feels, the warmth of pride. I wouldn’t change one step of this journey. This journey of growth although sometimes painful is also filled with pure love. Changing any of the unpleasantness would take away from the hustle. We are who we are because of the journey. I worked hard to become this person and I want to feel every second of it.
My fear of bridges is different than my fear of putting myself out there but both have offered personal growth over the years.
I was never really a fan of driving to places that I was unfamiliar with especially if they were in a different state. I don’t find a GPS to be helpful because I have a hard time reading signs, paying attention to the road and listening to the voice of the GPS all at one time. Now let’s throw in a bridge between point A and point B. Well – needless to say that would have me in a white knuckle grip on my steering wheel as I was pulling out of my neighborhood.
My children all play competitive soccer. Traveling to other states for tournaments is a very common occurrence. In the beginning with child #1 I would try and catch a ride with the coach or another parent. This would be difficult because for that whole weekend I would be without a car. I didn’t like inconveniencing people. However, any bridges along the way I could just take deep breaths and close my eyes.
A funny thing happened as the years went on. I began driving myself. My daughter and I enjoyed the time together and the convenience of having our own car. Was I still afraid? Sure was. But little by little, trip by trip a quiet confidence grew within me. I would be nervous approaching the bridge but as I was descending on to the other side I noticed I was inhaling and exhaling deeply. I’d get to the other side and high five myself mentally. I could do this. Traveling out of state will never be my favorite pastime but knowing that I faced one of my fears allowed me to grow and make my stress level tolerable with each anticipated trip.
Being brave and putting yourself out there strikes a fear as well. Whether you’re a writer, artist or innovator putting your heart and soul into something and opening the door for critique is scary. I know initially when I began thinking about making a website for the specific reason of showcasing some of my projects and writing about my feelings – I hesitated. It’s so easy to bounce ideas off your circle of friends. Showing my latest art piece to my gal pals is a breeze because they are my best cheerleaders. Posting pictures and blog posts on the world wide web….yikes.
I like to play a game I call “Worse Case Scenario” when it comes to this type of fear. Mentally I go over all the things that may or may not happen if I post a picture of my art journal or blog about my feelings. Someone could comment that they “don’t get it”. Maybe I won’t receive one comment or like. The fact that I take the chance and post it is a #win. Why? Because I took a step out of my box. I faced my fear of rejection and guess what? Still alive. No one took my website away because they thought my post stunk.
Fear doesn’t always have to be the bad guy. Facing our fears large and small is empowering. The results we receive whether they are overwhelmingly positive or somewhat negative teach us lessons. Sometimes the lessons aren’t readily visible. But with retrospection comes clarity. Don’t be afraid to take a chance on yourself! You just might be surprised at how far you can go.
She never did feel quite good enough. Hair too short. Body too big. Crooked teeth. Bushy eye brows. Ugly shoes. Tried too hard. Too much of something’s. Too little of other things.
Hello and welcome to the majority of my life.
Raise your hand if you can relate? Self doubt and insecurity are traits we all possess. It’s not a welcome gift but one that we all commonly share. Maybe my adjectives are different than yours but we all carry around something.
I’ve been thinking a lot about “being enough” lately. I’ve wasted a lot of days (yikes…dare I say years?) worrying and wringing my hands over my short comings. There are more than a few. Surely it’s my (fill in the blank) that’s holding me back?
But what if we removed that kind of stinkin’ thinking? What if instead of worrying about all the things we aren’t….we rejoice and celebrate all the things we are? I read a quote once that said something along the lines of “Be kind to yourself. It’s hard to be happy when someone is mean to you all the time.” Wow – aha moment. I would never speak to someone the way I speak to myself. I’d never tell someone that their crooked teeth were ugly. Or that their ass was huge in those jeans. Why do I tell myself those things?
Being kind to each other is really important. Being kind to yourself is more important. You only truly have yourself in this world. Yes – some of us have parents, husbands/wives, children, friends, etc. But you really are the only person that you can control. Why not show a little love to yourself? Be as gentle and understanding to yourself as you would to any friend. Better yet – why not be your own best friend?
Life has a funny way of moving forward whether you take a seat or not. I don’t want to waste another minute with inferiority. We are all worth so much more. I’m high fiving myself – quirks and all. Who’s next in line for a high five?