Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Blowing your own horn

   Today I am going to create a fan club.
   Even writing that feels weird. Wonder how I'll feel when I write fan club in the subject line of the emails I'm going to send out.
   I wasn't raised to blow my own horn, even though I truly felt like it at times. When you are one of six kids, and one of the middle two, you can feel lost easily.  Especially when the system you were raised in was geared for survival and not nurture.  They didn't know any better, that is the kind of system they grew up in as well.
   Is this something that only affects people over 40?  Did parents after my generation do a better job?  I wonder if my grandkids will have trouble promoting something they have done? I wonder if my kids would? How many generations does it take?
   It is amazing to me that after all the lies (false beliefs) I've had healed, after all the work I've done on myself, after feeling so much better and free-er, I still have a hard time asking people to endorse me or my work.  Like it is something wrong--something nice girls don't do--something you shouldn't do.
   I probably wouldn't have thought of it except a former client sent me an email saying "Put me in your fan club or on your list or whatever it is you have." Wow! I was so surprised and so pleased. Someone actually thinks I have something to say! 
   How can a person think like that after you've spent three years working on a book that you think is so important?  And you are publishing three others... Does anyone relate?  Do I really think everyone has to love my work or I'll be crushed?  So I can't ask anyone because what if they don't like it?  Seriously?  I'd better get some more lies healed.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Letting the Child Out

  On my beach trip with my sisters last month (after the wedding) my oldest sister remarked, "You have a lot of child in you. Do you often let it out?"
  I took it as a high compliment. I've always thought she was better at playing than I. Dubbed as I was, "the serious one."
  "I'm trying to let it out more." I responded, "It doesn't happen as much as I'd like."
  "It's so good to see," she noted, making my day.
  I thought of that on the 4th of July. My husband and I spent it together-- just the two of us. We have finally gotten back to enjoying being just us. That night after watching The King's Speech we decided to drive up the mountain about a half mile from our house and watch the fireworks, even though we'd seen Hollywood Bowl fireworks two nights before.
  Alas, the hills were just-so arranged that we couldn't see anything but the aura of fireworks in two opposite directions.  So we very slowly drove down the mountain watching for just the instant one display would become visible. When they did, bushes on the side obscured our view. So I jumped out of the car, sure that if we stood on the side we could see over the bushes. It turned out that I had to stand on one of the fence posts to see. So there we were, me perched on the fence post, my husband just below me on the curb.
  Soon a car came by, headlights spotlighting us as it came around the corner. I admit I felt just a tinge silly, but I loved the outrageousness of a 61 yr-old woman watching fireworks standing on top of a fencepost. The car stopped and three kids (aged approximately 12-15) bounced out, ran over and climbed up on three fence posts beside us, followed by their dad (who stayed on the ground with my husband). And there we all stood watching the fireworks across town.  I just had to comment, "This is one 4th of July you'll remember -- when you watched fireworks standing on fence posts."
 Childlike spontaneity made a memory.
  It feels freeing, even today, to think about it. Childlike qualities get shamed out of us over the years, and unfortunately things like honesty, openness, spontaneity, and believing we are loved often wash out along with grabbing, demanding, whining, and self-centeredness.
  How do we keep the childlikeness and rid ourselves of childishness? First thing is to face it in ourselves.
Sounds easy, but looking at yourself honestly, is the hardest thing you will ever do.
  Why? Because we are afraid of not being lovable. So we are always defending and hiding.  If you accept and believe you are loved (by God if you have no person) it makes your faults--your truth easier to see.
  You won't get rid of relationship-blocking faults without accepting and admitting that you have them to someone loving. (Someone torturing an admission out of you won't work--that only breaks you.)  And since you are already broken (we all are), love puts you back together again, but not blindly.  Love that pretends you are wonderful isn't worth much--we call it infatuation, flattery, manipulation, or chemistry. People can love you and tell others about your faults, but you won't grow from that either.  (Although you might get fired.)  Better to have the real thing: accepting you are loved with your faults, facing your brokenness and growing up.