This is my latest linocut. Because we all need a little encouragement…
I’ve never thought of myself as particularly courageous, but lately people keep telling me that I am so brave. I’m pretty self deprecating, so my knee jerk reflex has been to say “No! I’m really not. I’m just doing what I have to do. You have no idea what I’m going through right now, I’m just muddling through and making it up as I go along.” Then somebody mentioned this quote to me:
Hunh… It stuck with me, and after a while I realized that ok, this comment, hokey as it sounds every time I hear it is in a way true. I am scared, yes, but figuring things out so that I can live the life that I want is way more important than being scared.
In my mind I imagined holding the word “brave” in my hands, and rolling it into prickly ball of letters, then pressing the jumble against my chest until they passed through to my heart and became a part of me. I’ve been trying out this new identity for the past week or so-this brave person- and I like it.
It got me wondering why I am so quick to brush things off when people say nice things about me, quick to add a qualifier, quick to say “Well it’s complicated.” Also, if people are right about this, what other obvious truths have I been missing out on?
The next time someone says something nice to you about yourself, why not skip the self deprecation and just say thank you? Why not just believe it? You are beautiful. You are capable. You are lovable. You are going to figure it all out. Things are going to be ok, really. Things are gonna be great.
“…no one is a failure in the middle of a big change. You can’t fail if you’re moving toward something. You fail only if you stop.”
This is why I continue to read Penelope Trunk’s blog. In between the questionable bits about her marriage and life on the farm, there are some real gems.