Amazing or Authentic? Listening to Echoes and Stirrings

There is such a difference between writing what you know and knowing what you write, isn’t there?

I mean, everyone says, “Write what you know”. I think we all agree and I have certainly always strived to follow this magnanimous rule, cursing myself silently when I wandered too far into the side lane of the “mastery highway”.

But, I never considered how different that is from “knowing” what I write. A sense of acute self-awareness. Well, something sort of clicked over in me unexpectedly last night. In the wee hours, when I am usually most productive, I felt restless and uneasy. My words didn’t flow the way they usually do when the keyboard and I connect. It wasn’t writer’s block. It was more. A deep need and longing to listen to the stirrings of my soul and spirit. “Ok. I could do that”, I said aloud to only my self.

I began to listen to what my self had to offer up,  in a very patient and still sort of way. I heard an authoritative cry of “Deeper!” from somewhere down inside and obliged, despite.the urge to laugh at myself and turn on the television.

“Deeper!”, came the insistent command again. “Okay, okay”, I said, still aloud, deliberately strengthening my resolve to block out my new ideas, those chain reactions that are always tumbling around inside me, as if desperate to get out and be free.

As I waited motionlessly, curious about what I assumed must be some great and powerful revelation, I realized that I was indeed quite thirsty for what would and could surely quench my parched and patched up being–body, mind and soul. It never occurred to me that I might not like what I had to say. Or that the experience would be more of a chastisement, than lauding of praise. In a nutshell, I never thought I would be overcome by probing, gutteral feelings of being utterly worthless and useless, stemming from the authentic voice inside me. {Think less “scene in the second Matrix movie when the probes find Jada Pinkett Smith’s ship and begin to rip it apart” and more “taking the red pill from Morpheus in the first movie”.}

No, it never occurred to me. But nonetheless, my core was truly shaken with the internal advertisement of my imperfections and flaws as both a person and a writer. Don’t be alarmed that I’ve given in to low self-esteem! This internal guide, it wasn’t those self-defeating thoughts of doubt and failure, that whisper sweet nothings in our ear to sway us from the course that I was accepting as sweet nuggets of truth. As much as it could be, it was a loving and real experience, a “rebuke like oil on my head.”

You may wonder how I responded or maybe more why I am sharing this intensely personal experience?

Well, I began to weep bitterly, not out of defeat or sadness, but at the true knowledge of my total ignorance. I knew at that moment that I couldn’t be content to just “write about what [I] knew”, because I was realizing how little that actually was in the grand scheme of things. {And I suspect we are very similar in this way, but too terrified to let it show in front of  others.} Believe me, writing these words now is an exercise of faith, for sure.

I felt confident that on this journey I travel, I should constantly question if I am being my authentic self. Not “self” in the sense of stingy and sinful, but “self” in the sense of my true identity. {Of course, that opens a whole new topic of questioning who one truly is and what defines oneself, but not right now. Stay with me.} I share this pretty personal moment because I know how personal writing is and rightly should be. If you aren’t being personal, you probably aren’t being read, right? Call me crazy, but I think someone out there can relate.

So, here I am, on the other side of my shot-in- the-arm session. A little wondrous, a bit cautious, but altogether better for it and ready to keep writing but with renewed depth. I believe that we don’t always have to write “amazing” content, but it should be authentic. I commit to remind myself that I should always be digger “deeper”, not just relying on my ability as a wordsmith to get me by, and then consider that “my best”.

Even if you don’t write, I hope that this lesson I’ve encountered will be of some worth to you. I believe in this age of digital everything, we are spoonfed so often that we forget to eat for ourselves. I wonder what your authentic self has to say and what it will prompt you to engage in your life. If you are brave enough, maybe you will share with the rest of us?

You are reading , Amazing or Authentic? Listening to Echoes and Stirrings originally posted on PollySentrick. If you’ve enjoyed this post, join us and check out PollySentrick on FacebookTwitterGoogle+ and Pinterest.

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