A little more than a year ago, I purged my closet of everything that didn’t fit or flatter and put it into storage, promising myself that if in six months’ time I hadn’t lost the ten or fifteen pounds that stood between me and wearing these items, I would take them to Goodwill and forget they ever existed.
Well, I finally did it. There were many tears as I lovingly folded the pretty tops, skirts, pants and dresses and gently placed them into drawstring bags, but those size zeros (whoever decided zero is a size, anyway?) and petite extra smalls are finally gone, gone, gone.
And now there are more tears as I realize that I am at the same place in my novel writing efforts I was a year ago. Yes, I completed the manuscript in question, but in the process of revision have cut so much twaddle so that I still need approximately 35,000 words to finish. I have an agent and an editor waiting to read my book. So why don’t I just do whatever it takes to get it done?
It is complicated. But I am not alone in this. My friend Denise, for example, struggles with some of the same issues, and she shared some insights on Facebook and on her personal blog this week that helped me tremendously. Maybe you will find them useful, too.
First, I think I might suffer from “Toxic Weight Syndrome.” You can read about it HERE. The good news is that by summer’s end, I will have touched just about every item inside my house (excepting those in my boys’ rooms). Not only am I getting rid of the clothes that don’t fit, I going through every drawer, every cabinet, every closet, and purging every single object that no longer serves or satisfies. It is very liberating.
(Eventually, I will get to the garage.)
There is no doubt that there is a lot of stuff is weighing me down. I have already dealt with one very toxic relationship; unfortunately, today I felt I had no choice but to begin the process of responding to my ex over his request to modify child support. I trudged into the attorney’s office with a heavy heart, dreading expending so much energy – and cold, hard cash – in such a negative way. But by the end of our first meeting, I felt empowered. After all, this isn’t about me; this is about what is best for our kids. And then the most amazing thing happened. After I described my passion for teaching, the attorney decided to register to take piano lessons with me.
However, most of what I struggle with is simple RESISTANCE, identified by Steven Pressfield in The War of Art and explained eloquently by Denise in her blog post HERE. I will never understand what self-defeating thing it is inside us that talks us out of doing our work, of keeping our promises to ourselves, of living the lives we are meant to live. But perhaps by giving it a name, we can slay the beast called RESISTANCE.
I pulled out my copy of The War of Art and found this quote.
We fear discovering that we are more than we think we are. More than our parents/children/teachers think we are. We fear that we actually possess the talent that our still, small voice tells us. That we actually have the guts, the perseverance, the capacity. We fear that we truly can steer our ship, plant our flag, reach our Promised Land. We fear this because, if it’s true, then we become estranged from all we know. We pass through a membrane. We become monsters and monstrous.
~ Steven Pressfield, The War of Art
This gave me shivers because it reminded me so much of another quote I have posted on my writing bulletin board.
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
~Marianne Williamson, Return to Love
My word for 2012 was RELEASE, and boy, howdy has that been profound. Letting go of unnecessary stuff. Letting go of damaging relationships. Letting go of fear and self-doubt and giving myself permission to be the teacher/writer/human being I was meant to be.
How do you battle the demon RESISTANCE? What do you need to let go of to become the person you were meant to be?