I attended an artist’s retreat in Woodland Park, Colorado, home of my ready-to-burst pregnant BFF. We were talking about our gifts and desires as artists…mmm, just as people actually… and the many complexities that are part and parcel to exercising (and occasionally, exorcising) them. We talked about the way our abilities and inabilities seem to bear on…no, stronger….threaten our identities. We either feel pigeonholed by what people perceive us to be good at, inadequate compared to what other do better than ourselves, foggy about our purpose and vision, and/or, as is often my case, unable to move forward for a million and one good reasons…blah, blah, and blah.
And so we are often crippled.
While we stumble about, we lose the connection to who we actually are/were to begin with – and that’s where the fun begins. We are afraid to lose our whole selves as we stumble in the darkness...so we can’t let go of the ways we give ourselves value. To do that would threaten our existence. If I am a musician, to not be known as a musician (not to mention with a certain level of competence) might threaten my entire sense of purpose, of belonging, of importance. Think about it – how many times do we see people fall from great heights? Could it not be traced, almost every time, to a case of misplaced identity? Because if we really know who we are, we in theory should not be destroyed by failure, by incompetence, or by a case of have-not or have-not-anymore. And what, then, for those who do not yet have a recognized or recognizable ability? Are they just less lucky? Or do they not still have something incredible inside of them to offer to those around them, intangible and low-profile though it may be?
If we could know who we are, really - at the centre of the volcano, at the base of the iceberg, at the core of the hearts – would we not live differently? Would we not be able to better love, to better give, to better promote true life? Knowing that we are unshakable, because our identity is not dependent upon the peripherals, which shift and shake and change? The peripherals can be lovely, but how much more lovely can they be if they are the fruit of an unshakable seed?
So – something tangible. I say all this fluff, and now I give you something firm: you (you, you, YOU) are a gift. Aside from your abilities. Aside from your inabilities. Aside from your insecurity. Your doubt. Your guilt. Your jealousy. Your desires. And so whatever your problem is – whether you’re too good (ha!) or not good enough – who you are (and therefore the joy and hope, freedom from oppression that you can impart to others from that place) is not subject to what you do. So be free, little trifflewig, be free!