I sense God the Father extending an invitation to me. An invitation to try, to risk, to step out of my comfort zone.
I think He’d like me to start writing again, on a much more consistent basis. Although I live in less fear than I used to, there is still so much that holds me back, particularly when it comes to anything with the possibility of failure. What if I start writing and then stop? What if I can’t be consistent? What if I can’t think of anything to write about? It’s all very frightening to me. I realize there are other people who see these things as an opportunity to grow. But I don’t fall into that category. Shame lurks behind that door, the door of trying something new. When it comes to risking failure, somehow my identity, my self-worth, is at stake.
When it comes down to it, I believe I am not enough. Not good enough to do it, to try. There are others much more capable, more gifted, who can do it better. Who do I think I am?
If I don’t succeed it means that I am a “failure” (not that I failed while trying something). Why is my self worth at stake? Why am I blasted with shame in this land – the land of trying, of exploration, of opportunity, of making mistakes? My rational self knows that true creativity and innovation live in that place. Yet my heart and emotions hijack me and keep me paralyzed.
When I lay it out there, put it on the examining table – making mistakes – it’s not so bad. So what if I make a mistake? Isn’t this what I say to my children all the time: “It’s okay to make a mistake. Learn from it. Try again. I won’t be mad at you.” Why can’t (why don’t) I tell myself the same things?
There is grace for making mistakes. If I wasn’t afraid to try I would have so much more freedom in my life. And I know the only way to really know if something is “safe” is to take the risk to try (and find out in the trying that it really isn’t so scary – that I actually am “enough”).
So I will accept this invitation to try…and remember the grace I have for my daughter (who doesn’t want to practice reading because its too hard and scary). I keep encouraging her that she is learning and getting better at it, that she doesn’t have to compare herself to others (and how much better they are at it). All I’m asking her to do is to try. And it’s okay if she makes a mistake.
I want to learn to have the same love and compassion for myself.