Then I came across a page that almost felt like a checklist. I read each item thinking "yup thats me. that one too. oh and that one." When I finished the page, I blinked. Quickly went back and read it again. And then thought, "I need to write. I need to write again TONIGHT!!"
------------------------Let me introduce you to page 112:
- When we cultivate our gifts and talents and share them with the world, we create a sense of meaning and purpose in our lives (JH Thoughts: Yes, I agree)
- When we don't use our talents to cultivate meaningful work, we struggle. We feel disconnected and weighed down by feelings of emptiness (yup), frustration (yup), resentment (yup), shame (yup), disappointment (yes!), fear (most likely) and even grief (maybe?)
- Using our gifts and talents to create meaningful work takes a tremendous amount of commitment, because in many ways our meaningful work is not always what pays the bills (YES...but is that a reason to stop?)
- Our gifts, talents, and meaning are all unique to each one of us (definitely).
-----------------------I have no idea whether other people would consider my writing a gift, or a talent, or even as meaningful...but for me...it IS all those things. I feel alive when I write. Its an outlet, a passion, a place to get lost amidst my words in order to better understand my thoughts and emotions. Its a place where I can just be ME amidst a sense of peace, joy, and calm.
I still don't know why I stopped writing. But other parts of the book make me wonder if its because I started tying the writing to my self-worth.
If I don't post XX times per week, I am a bad blogger.
If I don't remember this person has a big event coming up or had a big event...and then remember to congratulate them or wish them good luck...I am a bad blogger.
If I don't post, and then read XX other posts and make XX other comments, I am a bad bad bad blogger.
If I don't write the perfect post with each word exactly right...I am a bad blogger and the post is meaningless.
Why and when did it become about these things!?! I don't know. But I do know not writing led me to each of those feelings in bullet point 2...or at least I have a hunch that squashing a passion of mine likely contributed to some of those feelings.
This winter I felt disappointed in myself, discouraged, unmotivated, lost, lonely, frustrated, and just blah. I stopped worrying about my health, stopped enjoying the outdoors, rushed through the current moment to get to the next...only to rush through that one as well.
I stopped writing, I gained 1/3 of the weight I worked so hard to lose 3 years ago, I ate whatever I wanted, I rarely took working out seriously, I wished I would spend more time with my pups/friends/family, I felt lost in what my career goals were, etc etc etc.
After January 2013, I told myself I was ready to recommit. Recommit to ME. I made goals to feel strong and healthy. I started doing more of the things I love again and taking time for myself...rather than always feeling like I had to be busy working on this or that. I opened myself up more to those around me. I worked on appreciating and living in each moment again.
Today I woke up feeling strong, healthy, and confident. I felt like I was back on track again, and valuing my worth, my meaning, my gifts, and my talents. However, some things still felt like they were missing. I wasn't sure what they were...but I had faith I would realize them at the right time...given I now feel back on the path that feels "truly me."
At 2:53pm today I read page 112. And thought,
"That's it. I need to write. I wonder if stopping because I thought it would get rid of all the unworthy feelings actually led to also squashing the meaning I gained from it!?!"
The answer...I still have no idea. So, I am writing again. To find out. I have no idea what the writing will look like. When it will occur. How it will occur. Etc. But as part of the experiment...I am trying to remind myself...
I write because its a gift. Its a passion. It gives me meaning. It doesn't matter if its not "my real job" or if it takes a few extra minutes out of my day. I write for me. And that is enough.