I am a pretty positive person. I’m also ruled by fear far more than I’d like to admit.
These 2 things are not compatible.
I’ve recently discovered that whenever I’m about to embark on something new – especially anything that involves personal risk – I immediately start playing a soundtrack in my head of CYNICAL, JADED, NEGATIVE commentary.
If I’m such a positive person, where does this come from? Well, it comes from the imaginary dialogue of some very real people in my life. I know a lot of people. Sadly, not all of them are rose-colored-glass-half-full kinda people. And for whatever reason, those are the voices I’ve allowed to set up camp in my head.
How sad. How unfortunate. How grieving to me that I’ve let it go on this long.
See, I love words. And I love music. And in my heart, I think there might be a songwriter in there. To me, songwriters are the bravest of all people. To open your heart and your guts for public consumption… well, that’s just strong and beautiful. And I’ve kept that urge tightly clutched in white-knuckled fists for too many years.
I can actually pinpoint an instance when the pain of hiding it became more important than the fear of letting it out. I had written some lyrics and left them lying around. A guy I was seeing came over and saw the lyrics, picked them up, read them, and said “That’s dumb.” Ouch. It didn’t matter that he was an idiot. (and truly, not to be mean, but he was… and from all accounts, still is) It didn’t matter that it was a rough draft. I just knew I never wanted to feel the sting of someone criticizing something that came from my heart/mind. Ever. Again.
So, I’ve been thinking about this. Wondering what I can do to free myself from this self-imposed prison.
I think I have an idea. An exercise, if you will.
I’ve determined that I’m going to have to re-train my brain. Whenever I get the urge to create – anything – instead of hearing the Soundtrack of the Cynical, I’m instead going to focus on what all of the positive, encouraging people in my life would say.
I’m going to hear people like my family. (I have the best family) People like Angela Hinson. And Debbie Brown. And Gina Shaw. And Allie Darden. And Lindsey Johnson. And Wendy Scott. And Gina Wells Tarver. And Leslie Tucker. And Tracy Shea. And Kris Brown. And many, many more.
You are the new soundtrack in my head. Your encouragement will inspire me. Spur me on. Give my dreams wings.
It might be slow-going… and I might even fail. But I’m going to try! And that’s more than I have been doing for 20+ years.