Stop Being Afraid: A letter to Us All

This will be short,
a letter
to the Artist inside us all
but especially to me,
and the Artist that I’ve been afraid to become.
I’ve been thinking.

I’m electrified
with the current state of affairs, I know
how lucky I am
to have space even a few hours every day to make art.
I’ve decided,  I know
that I want write, but I’ve been sick to my stomach,
afraid.  I know
that I want
to express my soul with images
but I’ve been afraid.

I have assumed
that my words,

my heart, my way of seeing isn’t good
(enough);
isn’t trained,
isn’t schooled.
Doesn’t “know.”

Whatever that means, really, what it comes down to ya’ll is simple
fear of failure,
fear of measuring against others,
fear of being different, and not in a good way, just
so afraid.

I’m going to start
dreaming. It is time to start
thinking
for myself, listening
to my own
muse, casting
aside fear for something better.
I’m going to revel in my own buzz.

But who’s the critic now? Creepy voices
in my head that say, most people aren’t even listening,
and to that I say, perhaps not
yet, and yup that’s

so okay,

for now.  I’m gonna
Just do it.
Stop being afraid

and Jump!

[BE FEARLESS]

4559My word for 2012 was ABUNDANCE.

Even as I chose that word — abundance, I wasn’t totally sure; seriously, what was I thinking resounded the echoing voices?

I have never lived a so-called abundant life.  Was it even possible?

Most of my childhood, and early adulthood, I spent afraid, crouching. And I’ve been unable to choose joy, as I’ve cringed and cried my way through recent years, even while overcoming, learning, and growing, I’ve been afraid. Even as I have healed  Even as I’m being birthed into someone I don’t recognize and it is sweet and good, more and more fear.

I came from a Daddy who was sometimes hard, sometimes mean, mostly lacking the sweetness a daddy ought to bring to a child’s life; just hanging out and loving on his kids.  Simple enjoying one another, like what I see between my kids and their dad. It’s not perfect, but it is affectionate and safe.  My father meant well, I’m sure that he did.

“He didn’t mean to” I used to tell myself.  And he could be sweet, sometimes. Affirmed beyond your wildest dreams, speaking out loud what felt like a prophetic word.  “You’re going be something.  You’re doing to do things.  You are going to do great things.  And, if by chance you don’t, well I’ll still love you.”  Yes, he said those words whispering dreams into my soul, of “big things” as he crushed my spirit with his rages and cruelty.

I suffered and staggered my way into adulthood afraid of living.

I could explain it all away — it was his insecurities, his megalomania, and his extreme self-centeredness   But never mind.

My spirit was crushed along the way and it wasn’t until he died that I began to really breathe in and exhale enough air, to live, to grow, to let go of the grip I had on trying to control everything.

And Mother, she was cool, soft and sometimes tender, but withdrawn and far, far away from us most of the time. She was expressively absent, though present physically.  He was absent physically but Always There looming, controlling, hurting.

It has taken me a long, wandering road of building trust with God, believing – truly that Jesus loves me.  Daddy has had to be dead a long time.  Trust of any kind, is hard-earned. And hard-won.

FEAR: an emotion experienced in anticipation of some specific pain or danger usually accompanied by a desire to flee.

That was my life.

I choose these annual words now like an elixir, a Magical idea, that will heal my broken soul.

I want abundance, brazenly.

I want to be fearless.

I want laughter. I want to have more fun.  Dare I say it, I want JOY,

audacious, defiant and powerful solace!

I want to create beauty, unafraid.

I want to believe in life’s possibilities, impudently.

I want to write unique and beautiful things, boldly.

So this year, 2013, is about being fearlessness.

I don’t know how, even now. I am sick with it.  Stomach and heart burning inside, where there are still big voices saying it is impossible for me. And brick walls surround my heart.

I am terrified to give up my fear.    But that’s the journey, that’s the tiny bit of trust in the Holy.  That’s what I hear — be fearless.  That’s what I need.

To be

FEARLESS, yes, that is what I want for 2013.

(Perhaps not surprisingly, but it did shock me, I have written 175 items on FEAR.  I’ll be collecting them to see what themes arise, but this is one:  Let your Fear Fly Free