Mar 14, 2016
I ended the last episode of the Write Now podcast (#037) with
the concept of giving yourself some grace. I ended up thinking
about that concept for a long time after that, so decided to give
grace its own episode. I hope you enjoy it here in Episode 038.
My deep, dark secret.
No, I'm not Batman. Let's just get that out of the way.
My deep, dark secret is that often I don't like myself very much. Maybe you feel like this sometimes, too. Or a lot of the time.
You see, I never feel like I'm quite enough.
I'm never thin enough, tall enough, fashionable enough, smart enough, motivated enough, or driven enough. I don't clean my house enough and I'm certainly not wealthy enough. I don't write enough.
I have really, really high standards for myself and the work I
do. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, in and of itself. But it
can have troubling echoes throughout your life.
SET ALL THE GOALS???
Recently, I made the mistake of taking a leadership course that focused on setting (and achieving) goals.
The course essentially said that there are X number of hours in a week, and you are responsible for making each one work toward your goals. If you do this, you will be fulfilled.
Well hey, that sure sounds nice. But I found that when you implement it into your life, things begin to break down.
You start defining your self-worth by the goals you accomplish. You start packing in more and more goals to accomplish. You start to see any time not spent toward goal-achievement as wasted time. You see no value in relaxation. You see no value in enjoying life.
This is a problem.
Even worse, at the time, you think that you're chasing success. You think that you're doing something good.
But then you find success. And you find that, even though you've accomplished something, you're not fulfilled. Not in the way you hoped you'd be.
Because even though you've accomplished something, it hasn't changed who you are. You're still you. Which means you're still not thin enough or rich enough or smart enough or whatever it was you were dissatisfied with in the first place.
So what are we chasing, anyway? What will it feel like when we're finally "enough"?
I think that what we're really looking for is love. We feel like if we are thin enough or well-read enough that we'll finally be worthy of or earn the love that we want.
Well guess what? You don't need to be worthy of anything. You
don't need to earn anything.
Grace is what we need to give to ourselves and to others.
The basic tenet of grace is the understanding that we are all human, and no human being is or can be perfect. With that in mind, grace is favor—approval or preference—given without merit. Without having to earn it.
Grace is the antidote to all of those awful feelings that keep us from writing, or from writing well: doubt, fear, hatred, guilt, anxiety, worthlessness.
Today's episode is all about how necessary it is for us to give ourselves some grace, especially when it comes to writing. It's about the freedom we so often deny ourselves to simply live as we were made to live.
But in grace and peace and love, I can tell you that you are enough, just as you are.
Now go, and write, and enjoy your life.
The Book of the Week.
I finished a book this week! No, it wasn't Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey, which I am still reading.
The book I finished was The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater, a paranormal mystery/romance/adventure for young adults.
It's the story of Blue Sargent, a high school student who comes from a long line of clairvoyant women. In a deviation from the YA paranormal norm (so to speak), Blue is not the Chosen One. In fact, she has no clairvoyance of her own at all.
The chapters alternate between Blue's point of view and the POV of the Raven Boys,