I don’t want to come to the end of my life and find that I have just lived the length of it. I want to have lived the width of it as well.
— Diane Ackerman
We are coming to the end of Chapter Nine, which has been about Recovering a Sense of Compassion for our inner artist. Finding true compassion for our frightened, wounded inner creator self is essential, if we are to live authentically.
Yesterday, I wrote about a “deal” that Julia describes. After we have admitted to all our fears, grudges, resentments and hurts regarding our creative work, we make a deal with our Highest Source, Spirit, or the God/dess (by whatever name we most love and trust). We promise that if She will take care of the quality, we will take care of the quantity.
In other words, we will quit worrying about whether our work is good enough. We will leave all that in Her hands. What we promise to do is faithfully show up and create.
This is stunningly easy. All we have to do is do our best, under whatever the current circumstances may be. She makes sure our best is Good Enough. We don’t have to figure this out!
I am here to promise you this will change everything, if you let it. I told you yesterday it will rock your world, and it will. Let go of the need to critique yourself, because you simply are not qualified to do so. That is not your job, so have compassion for yourself and stop now. Stop forever.
Judgments are handled by exceptionally brilliant Quality Control Personnel. If there is a problem, you will hear about it, from the most loving, patient Source ever. So get back to your wonderful work/play and quit fussing over the rest!
Everything we’ve been doing in the previous chapters is what makes this possible. Reading deprivation taught us how to hear ourselves more deeply. Exercises that help us examine our early attempts at creating, our fears about money, our core negative assumptions and all the rest have been designed to diagnose the extent of our hurts, that we may heal.
Morning pages reveal hidden epiphanies and shadows every day. Weekly artist dates coax our inner child self out of hiding. We have spent all these months discovering what truly delights us, and what resonates deeply for us.
So now, we check in with our hearts, listen closely to our inner wisdom, and then go for it. And that’s all we have to be responsible for. We surrender to being beginners, if that is the truth. We let go of judging. We hone our craft. We do our best.
The Boss takes care of the rest.
We are truly co-creating at this level. In this huge act of faith we choose to say goodbye to our stubbornness, our woundedness, and our fears. We don’t invite our crazy-maker friends, teachers, or colleagues to take a shot at us. And instead of an inner critic running us ragged, we turn the quality control over to the Creator. We just keep cranking out our very best, and trust that the rest of the production is in profoundly good hands.
So… Time to begin our final exercises for this chapter.
First, Julia finally gives us Official Permission to go back and re-read our morning pages! She instructs us to do this in a very specific way. Take out two differently colored highlighter pens. One will be to mark insights and one will be to highlight actions needed.
She cautions us, “Do not judge your pages or yourself. Yes, they will be boring. Yes, they may be painful. Consider them a map. Take them as information, not an indictment.
“Take stock: Who have you been consistently complaining about? What have you procrastinated on? What blessedly have you allowed yourself to change or accept?
“Take heart: Many of us notice an alarming tendency toward black-and-white thinking: ‘He’s terrible. He’s wonderful. I love him. I hate him. It’s a great job. It’s a terrible job,’ and so forth. Don’t be thrown by this.
“Acknowledge: The pages have allowed us to vent without self-destruction, to plan without interference, to complain without an audience, to dream without restriction, to know our own minds. Give yourself credit for undertaking them. Give them credit for the changes and growth they have fostered.”
I’m going to have a special announcement tomorrow for Thanksgiving, so look for the continuation of our exercises on Friday!