Writing by Sarah Watkins // Illustration by Karla Drama
I’ve been editing and re-posting some of my favorite articles from my blog from years ago and I noticed a trend. A very clear trend. Maybe you’ll notice it, too, once you read a few of my essays. There’s this thing I have with protecting myself. With being “strong”, and “fighting the good fight”. Where did that come from? Why do I feel so weak that I have to prove my strength? Why am I not okay with not being okay? What is that? It’s something that I’ll be investigating for sure, but that’s not why we’re here today.
That realization tiptoed me into another realization of my behavior: hiding. Good old fashioned, afraid of living in my truth, which is really just another way of protecting myself. (And, from what?!) I’ve been going back and forth for years about whether I should let it be known that I enjoy writing. Hell, I fell in love with it when I was five years old. It’s the longest secret love affair I’ve ever had. I write something, I share it with my friends, they love it, they share it with their friends, and then I find a reason to go back into hiding. I’ll agree to write articles, contribute under pseudonyms, the editors and readers love it, and then I’ll say, “I’m still not good enough. I still need to be better, deeper.”
I’ve been sharing things I wrote four and five years ago, and it’s still being well received — deeply felt. Yet and still I am hesitant about sharing it with more people. Then I thought to myself:
Is it going to be like this forever? Will I always find an excuse to remain small? Will I always peek my head out only to vanish again? (They call that prairie doggin’.) And I know that this transcends beyond my writing. It is in almost everything that I do: relationships, work, career, etc. I find some way to stand in my power and then shrink. But I have to wonder: How does this serve me?
If you are like me in some way, ask yourself: How does this serve me? How does this serve my higher purpose? And really: will it be like this forever? Am I willing to be married to my current behavior and mindset?
I tried to imagine my life exactly as it is today, but for forever, and I don’t like it. Not one bit. But the only way to make sure that doesn’t happen is to make change now, and to commit to it. My friend said to me today, “what’s the worst that could happen? Or better yet, what’s the best thing that could happen?” (I swear I love my tribe.)
So, I ask you: What’s the best thing that could happen from living vibrantly in your truth? Sit and imagine everything that could go right. Really. I invite you to get lost in a fantasy rather than a worry. Fantasize about your wildest dreams coming true. Imagine the world being open to you because you are open to it. (It feels good, I promise) Then, from an open heart, begin the work it requires to get where you want, even if it’s just being a better you. New possibilities will have the opportunity to form simply because you believe it’s possible. The universe is funny like that.
It will not be all sunshine and rainbows. Challenges may appear, and when they do, don’t retreat. Stand high and in your power, because one day there will be someone, somewhere who will need what only you can bring, and that somebody (in my case) might even be you.[share]