I have had several people say to me recently that they think I am a good writer. Hm...I want to be a writer. Well, I am a writer. But I still don't know if I "feel" like a writer. It seems a writer would always have something to write about. It seems a writer wouldn't let the "inside the head editor" erase the entire blog entry they just wrote. It seems a writer would want to always be writing. I know, I know, this is not at all true. It is work. I have read many biographies and books about writing. I know you have to make it a habit. I haven't done that. I need to do that.
I constantly have thoughts in my head that I think I should write about. But sometimes when I sit down to write, I freeze. The editor in my head says "are you sure you want people to read THAT?" "do you really think people will care about that story?". And so I delete, and go back to reading.
What do you have in your life that you "really want to do"? What paths have you not chosen because you are scared, lazy, or just plain tired? What is the voice in your head telling you? How do you turn it off?
I was reminded this weekend about the idea of living life out of a place of peace instead of fear. This is a constant cognizant choice I have to make. For the first 30 to 35 years of my life I lived in fear. Fear of what God would do to me. Fear of the trouble I would get into with teachers/parents/friends. Fear that I would fail. Fear that I would get hurt. Fear that people would laugh at me. Fear that people would not like me. So many fears. But I consciously made a choice to raise my children differently. Now, they hold that truth up to me to encourage me to live my own life out of peace, like they are. They are my example of how to put fear out of the equation and plunge forward.
We all have our fears. Whether it be an innocent fear of the water or homophobia, we all have fears. What is important, is what will we do with the fear. Will we allow our fear of water to let us come to the end of our lives having never felt the ocean wash over our feet? Will we allow our homophobia to continue to make legislation and religious doctrine that take the rights of our neighbors? Our friends? Our families?
We are at that moment in history where we need to stop. We need to stop and ask ourselves what is behind our fear. Do we really think that letting gays marry will in some way ruin our marriage? Do we really think that these people CHOOSE this life? Do we really, truly believe, that Jesus finds them an abomination? Jesus, the man who ate with the vilest most hated people of society? Jesus, the man who taught that the lowest shall be the highest? Jesus, the man who taught us to love our neighbor as ourselves? This Jesus would applaud us teaching and preaching hate against GLBT people? Really? So, stop. Really, stop. Ask yourself why you are scared. See if there is really any basis in it. If you are using the Bible, stop. Really look into that Bible you take so literally, there are many things in there that I bet you aren't doing...like owning slaves, having many wives and concubines, killing your child if they are born with something not quite right, etc. So, stop.
As you ask yourself, "Why am I afraid of water?" or "Why am I homophobic?" I will be over here asking myself, "What am I afraid of if I write a novel?"
It is never too late to rid our lives of fear.