courage: to speak one’s mind by telling all one’s heart [Brené Brown]
During our shared reflection time this week, Casey talked about how when we feel tempted to stay in a place of safety, tempted to not put ourselves in a space where we could get hurt, we need to lean into the vulnerability and trust in who and what we are. I felt like she was speaking directly to me because when I’m honest about what I dream of, I want to stay small, stay in my lane, and stay safe. Instead, I’m choosing this week to trust in who and what I am and to tell my whole heart…
I dream of writing a book. That is one of the most terrifying sentences I have ever written.
Why is this so terrifying you ask? so. many. reasons.
- I’m afraid I’m not a good enough writer.
- I’m afraid I don’t have anything worth saying.
- I’m afraid that believing I have something worth saying is arrogant.
- I’m afraid people will outwardly encourage me but silently judge me.
- I’m afraid I will fail.
- I’m afraid that if I tell people my dream and then fail they will know that I failed.
- I’m afraid I don’t actually know what it means to be a real writer.
- I’m afraid I’ll only ever be good at writing in my journal or in google docs.
- I’m afraid that believing I could just decide to write a book and expect that it would be published is crazy.
But this week is NOT about fear, it’s about dreams.
When I read this week’s prompt, the question that legitimately jumped off the page at me was this one: what is it that you imagine for the book you are writing? Talk about rattled. I’d been comfortably running through potential projects in my head as I read the earlier questions, imagining hazy visions of a “perfect world” that might fit the prompt when this question stopped me short. The book I’m writing? Me? HOW DID THEY KNOW?
Brené Brown writes that overcoming self-doubt is all about believing we’re enough. So instead of sinking into the fear (which, as you can probably tell, would drown me if I let it), I’m going to trust that I’m enough and that the spirit is speaking. Because when I dig deep down, I know this to be true: I am a writer. I always have been a writer. I’ve been putting my thoughts and feelings onto the page (and feeling healed by it!) for over 20 years.
So I’m writing a new list, a list of why I dream of being a writer:
- The summer I spent writing every day was the healthiest I have ever been.
- Journaling has always been my way most genuine form of prayer. God shows up constantly as I write.
- Writing allows me to express myself in ways I cannot in conversation. My brain loves the chance to dig in, to think through what it is I truly mean.
- I have stories I want to share, truths I want to help people understand.
- Books have been my constant companions since childhood, I believe they have the power to change the world.
- I love the way words fit together. I love how sometimes I can’t get them from my head to the page fast enough.
- I just like it. I love the feeling of my fingers flying over the keyboard or my pen scrawling across the page.
In truth, writing is the answer to all of the questions I wrote in my journal to pray with this week and then didn’t, the questions Glennon Doyle challenges us to ask ourselves once we’ve let go of defining our selves by who we love, who we serve, and what we do.
What do I love? What makes me come alive? What is beauty to me? Who is the soul beneath all these roles?