“You can’t write! You’re definitely not talented enough. No one will read it. Your photography needs so much work.” It went on and on all day. I woke up this morning with doubts and shame surrounding the core of myself. I was doubting my ability to create, my originality, even my worthiness as a human being. I was swimming in shame – ready to forget this dream I had nurtured and worked on for the past 6 months. For the past few years, if I’m really honest with myself. I felt fully defeated.
So much has led up to this dream you’re reading. Years of following Dave Ramsey’s plan and paying off $100,000 in student loan debt while working 60 hour weeks. Creating and leading multiple “Money Matters” classes for our church community. Having conversations with friends and community members about finances, but also about how to live with intention and get anything done within the current constraints of our life. This dream felt so true to who I am – true to my passions, true to what is natural to me, true to the values of our family. I was finally listening to who I am as a person – creative, visionary, family-centered, passionate about creating personal financial stability – and finding my way in the world, using my truths to guide me. (I thought I had kicked Shame to the curb.)
I’ve been using Elizabeth Gilbert as my usher through this entire process of not believing in Shame! As I look back, she probably started me down this path about 1 ½ years ago when I read her book, “Big Magic.” It’s an inspirational little thing – especially for someone like me (like you, too?) who has squashed creative ideas whenever they’ve come around these past few, full years.
And, they’ve been really full. (Check out more of my story on my About Page). I’ve had 4 babies in 6 years, went on our debt pay off journey, and continued to work in a job that wasn’t allowing any type of creativity. None. Actually, any type of out of the box thinking was responded to with blank stares and frustration. Really, really, disheartening. Soul sucking. Anyway, back to Liz – she says:
I hear that doubt in my mind every day. “Who do you think you are?” Well, as Liz says “I’m a constituent of this universe (child of God) and I have a right to collaborate with creativity.” I love this. I’m not special, I’m just a part of this world as much as any other, and creating keeps me alive and thriving. I will create. My one rule in this creation is: only create with truth and integrity. So, here goes.
This is it. My very first post and I think the best and bravest and most truthful thing to do is to be SO, so honest. Honest with you. Honest with myself. Honest with my community.
I’m f’ing scared. I’m afraid no one will like me. I’m afraid I’m not pretty enough for a blog. I’m afraid I’m the only one who struggles with negative self-talk. I’m afraid that I will hinge my self-worth on what others think of this space of mine. I’m afraid I’m ruining my kids by spending time on this business/blog. I’m afraid my husband will be disappointed in me.
That’s the heart of it, isn’t it? The truth is I crave affirmation from others. I’m ignoring the current benefits of being honest and true and working through self-doubt. The benefits for my family – when I begin to love myself more fully – even if NO ONE ELSE LIKES IT.
The truth is, I am whole and beautiful and true and being so brave by doing such hard, vulnerable work.
So, say it with me.
“I am beautiful. I am whole. I am loved. I am creative. I am strong. I am intentional.”
And I will continue to walk towards truth and vulnerability. And if I could, I would give you a big, fat virtual hug, because – YOU are Beautiful. YOU are whole. YOU are loved. YOU are creative. YOU are strong.
That’s the truth. Not the other shit.
Much love. And keep doing your work friend,
P.S. “Daring greatly means the courage to be vulnerable. It means to show up and be seen. To ask for what you need. To talk about how you’re feeling. To have the hard conversations.”