It’s been quiet around here lately. And by quiet, I of course mean silent.
Sorry about that. I’ve had a lot on my mind and heart lately. You’d think this would generate posts, but it has the opposite effect.
I seem to be accumulating things to blog about. This creates a problem. Whenever I sit down to blog, I look over at my mental pile of ideas and am immediately overwhelmed. So I write a little, but it feels forced and uninspired, like writing in a weird self-created sweat shop. I end up trashing everything.
And the silence continues. And grows. And starts to breath. And then when I sit down to write, I’m sitting between a mountain of shadowy, vague ideas on one side and a breathing, intimidating silence on the other. So I go watch Criminal Minds instead. Or make more coffee. Or… you get the idea.
It occurred to me this morning as I sat down to try what has become a rather discouraging ritual that this is like so much else in life. Once you get in a routine that involves chickening out at the last second, it’s hard to break out of it. Walking up to the door to a new church and then not going in. Picking up the phone to call someone and then putting it down. Drafting an email and never sending it. Rescheduling your scary dentist appointment over and over again.
Maybe the first time you’re giving yourself a break. That’s good. Emotional flexibility is a valuable skill. But by the fifth time you run up to something only to ditch out on it at the last second, we have to call this what it is–cowardice. Don’t get all offended, I’m not calling you a coward. Doing something cowardly doesn’t make you a coward. Just like going on one run doesn’t make you a runner. But this one loop you’re stuck in happens to be a cowardly one.
And it’s going to take some courage to break.
A very specific type of courage. The courage to fail. To fail at being charming and likable and perfect. Isn’t that what we’re really afraid of? I’m afraid to write something none of you will like. You’re afraid that walking into that new church will be awkward and no one will like you.
But guess what? Perfect is overrated. I always end up loving people the most for their weird little imperfections. (Seriously… it’s ridiculous how much I love imperfection. More on that some other time.) In real life, perfect isn’t even an option most of the time. As well as you can do at the moment. That’s the only realistic option you have. Maybe your best reaches the lofty heights of perfection and maybe it doesn’t. Either way your best is all you’ve got.
Waiting for perfect translates to doing nothing, which is much less perfect than just doing your best and moving on. And that moment of your best that falls seriously short of perfect… well, it’s good you got that out of the way so you can do better next time. And you broke the loop, which is valuable in itself.
So that’s what this post is. Shaking it off. Getting unstuck. I’ll see you tomorrow with something more inspired. For today it’s enough that I’m breaking the loop.
Is there one you should be breaking too?