I’m not really sure why, but this evening I opened my journal to the wrong page and found myself reading over a few days’ worth of entries. I’m more than half way through this notebook, and the entries I ended up reading were written long enough ago that I’d forgotten the specifics, that I was coming to them with a level of objectivity. It’s always interesting to read your own writing from the distance of several months – I come to what I’ve written as though I’m a stranger, reading (and judging) it for the first time.
And here’s what I read, in my own handwriting, in my own journal: “If I could keep that fear of being wrong from impacting on my capacity to be right, I’d actually be worth something”.
I was writing about my singing – my realisation that it’s my second-guessing of myself, my fear of being wrong and earning myself a death stare, of letting down the choir, which causes me to sing badly. But I think it’s something that can be generalised. Joseph Chilton Pearce wrote: “To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong”. He’s right. I’m right too – I can only be worth something if I’m living my life as my self, as who I really am, darkness and all. I can only be worth something to the choir if I sing as my self, If I take the risk of screwing up. I can only avoid letting down the group if I’m willing to take the risk of letting down the group, trusting that I will still be loved and supported in that. I can only stand up if I’m willing to take the risk of falling down, trusting that I have the strength to stand up again, and that my friends will have my back while I do it.
It’s a big deal, learning to trust myself, when for the last ten years I’ve learned that I’m nothing worth trusting. Some days it’s easier than others. But I’m blessed enough to be surrounded by people who either a) are incredibly good actors, or b) genuinely think that I’m worth something. I’m very much leaning toward option b). And I’m incredibly grateful.