Sometimes moments come along where we get to see ourselves from an objective viewpoint. Sometimes we are pleased, other times disturbed. I have had one such week.
I have, for much of my life, tended toward jealousy, toward competition and what Brene Brown calls scarcity. My self perception limped along with unmet expectation and comparison. I feared if someone else got what I wanted, it could never be mine. My self-raised bar smothered joy, for I could never meet the perpetual moving line of success.
This week was unique for me, a gift beyond my imaginings. I participated in Jeff Goins’ 7-Day Blog Like a Pro Challenge. Enrolling on a whim Sunday evening, I’ll just say I had no clue.
My blog is in the tender toddler stage. As I find my gait, my rhythm, I am determining who I am and what I want as a writer. Early on, topics came easy, my voice flowed effortless. Significance discovered everywhere, words and phrases at the ready. In this new, more mature place, choices are necessary to prioritize this work. Solitude, renewal, nature required to tend to my internal environment, fostering and coaxing the words. Busy-ness renders me scattered and overwhelmed – extinguishing any fire of inspiration and wonder. Writing is my new job, butt in the chair, my discipline.
This Challenge provided myself and my fellow bloggers an opportunity to emerge from our dark and comfortable online corners. The idea of self-promotion rendering many of us insecure and terrified. Writing is a solitary sport, one can wear stretch pants and no makeup, we can hide behind our words, our persona. I was tempted to give up, but something kept prompting and inviting. Follow Me a small voice whispered.
At first, comparison and competition were having their heyday, trouncing and traipsing across my confidence. My fear was on high alert. My view shrouded by the lens of scarcity, of measuring. The vulnerability of art leaves us writers wide open for attack, and oftentimes this attack comes from ourselves.
Many of us were in full blown anxiety mode by the second day. The daily requirements tempted to send me packing. Make an ebook? What? Install a plug-in, are you kidding me? Campaigns and pop up boxes and newsletters? I’m not sure about this. I think my life was pretty good last week. I don’t need this. But I did. I needed all of it. I needed community and I needed to trust myself. Requests flew on Facebook, we asked for help, we offered help. Kindness and patience reigned. Many of us reached the day’s end jubilant and triumphant. The day’s success now a launchpad for our futures – creating, inviting, exploring.
A grace showed up, reticent at the start, building to an overwhelming rush. Kind words and compliments gathered steam, a solid and sure act of unselfish abundance.
Inspiration and reassurance set up camp in our little online village. Generosity flowed rich and full as we lobbed our concerns and fears across the keyboards and airwaves. Fellow compatriots responded with equal kindness, offering solutions. We made efforts to lift one another up. Choosing to bear burdens, rather than to compete and win.
Each of us brings something unique and new to the table. Each of us, with our stories, our perspective, our gifts offer a myriad of new ways of seeing the world, of offering beauty. There is no right or wrong, no winners or losers. There is only us giving, afresh, with hand-wringing humility and hope. There is only us receiving another’s gifts with warmth and gratitude. We are invited to remove the measuring stick of division, refusing the temptation to place ourselves in front or behind on the line of comparison.
In the economy of love, there is no scarcity, there is no fear of waste, there is no concern for oneself. In the economy of love, where we dwell is where we serve, where we dwell is where we receive, where we dwell – there is room enough for all.
Thank you to my new friends who, this week, have shown me my best self, the self I want to be more often. When I resort to the old way, to the default setting, I have you as my beacon – a breathtaking guide toward kindness.
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