When it comes to having dreams, we always raise our hands in excitement. When it comes time to buying the shovel and spade, and doing the work, the numbers noticeably dwindle. When it’s time to finish what we started, and be finally done with our labour, the numbers become even more anemic. Finally, when it’s time to gift the world with what you’ve made, you will find yourself very much alone.
You will begin to doubt, get anxious, and become overwhelmed with fear.
I am still trying to figure out what it is about our human nature that prevents us from sharing who we are. What it is that distracts us and convinces us that we are not good enough.
We don’t think of ourselves as unworthy impostors, until we have something we can share.
We begin to imagine we will die a slow and painful death of shame and indignation and so we pull back in fear, because everyone will once again know and see our very frail limitations.
The good life, the happy life, is meant for someone else. The lives of Saints, are a painful reminder that success is not found on a road less travelled. It is nothing more than an abandoned dead end.
This is a lie we tell ourselves.
It is a truly strange because when toss the first shovel full of dirt over our shoulder, the glory and sense of accomplishment, is all we envision and sense.
We spend time imagining what it will feel like when we were finished. We impress our minds with how meaningful and beautiful it will all be when we finish. How glorious, to share who we are, and what we have made, with perfect strangers. Strangers no more. Brothers and sisters connected in a beautiful spirit of human experience.
But we don’t ship. We hide. We hide from ourselves and we hide from each other.
We hide in plain sight.
When we are close, we nit-pick.
We find fault.
We notice errors in the smallest of things, the insignificant, magnifying the mistakes no one sees or even cares about. We seek the council of people who we know deep down, will find something wrong with what we have made. We thrash about looking and embracing every sensible opinion that convinces us that what we really need, is just one more day, another week, another month, and perhaps another whole year.
You need to get it right, to polish it up; just a little bit more. Just a tiny bit. Almost there. Have faint, it’s almost time. A crank here. A little adjustment. A little tug. The slightest pull.
And so, you hide.
We have hidden who we are for years. Decades.
We run away from what we want, who we are, and what we dream about.
It’s safer not to make a ruckus. To not raise your voice. To sit down. To timidly, take it. To politely wait your turn.
But your turn never comes.
You are almost there, but never there.
You hate yourself for not speaking up and become tired and weary for spending your entire life, sitting back and taking it.
When is it going to be your turn?
When will you stand up and have people take notice?
It won’t be easy. The criticism will certainly fly. The gossip will wage a war against your human dignity. Eyebrows will be raised in indignation. Your work will be scrutinized. It will be misunderstood. Dissected. Laughed at. Jeered. Embraced?
Could there be a chance someone will find value with what you have made?
Think of the possibilities.
You might make someone laugh. Bring a smile to their tired face. Give them an opportunity to cry. Afford them permission to be who they are. The courage to no longer pretend who they don’t want to be. You might give them a voice, or dispel their loneliness.
You might give them a moment of peace. A chance to reflect. An opportunity to embrace their broken humanity.
You might inspire them.
You might make them think and feel.
You might make a ruckus!
But not, if you remain timid, and hide in plain sight.
Nothing matters. Nothing grows. Nothing changes with silence and fear.
Find your voice.
Find the courage.
Find a way to share.