I have often thought that if I could do it anyone could do it. No doubt this was a reaction to the line my father gave me as a child. Any time I offered to help with something, the man perhaps embarrassed or ashamed, or just using simple logic would reply to his youngest offspring,? ?’ If I can’t do it, you can’t. ‘.?
It was a strange thing to tell a young boy who wanted to explore his limits and learn.? It did little for my self esteem and in truth being the sensitive child I was, I perhaps took it far more deeply into my heart that I should of, or was intended.
Later in my life, I became irritated when people would comment that my life story and the challenges I rose to , were smart, or brave, or that I was very strong. I used to reply, ‘ If you lived with me 24 hours a day, you would really know me.‘? It was my way of deflecting the praise, of not letting in the compliment of others. ( I wrote about that in a previous post).
I still remember the phrase that someone wrote to me one day, on reading a poem I had written. They told me my gift wasn’t mine to keep, it was my responsibility to share it with the world. Cue the old catholic teaching of the three boys who received talents from their father, one buried his, one invested slightly and the other had massive rewards from using his talents, ( a type of currency) to the max.
In a recent conversation with someone I admire, I realised they were walking the same tightrope as myself. They were tired of people telling them that they were strong or courageous. Their life, like my own, was one of necessity, or doing the next thing, not even the next right thing, just doing the next thing that came. Neither of us, gave ourselves credit for not getting submerged in the struggles and challenges we face. Neither of us, wanted the responsibility of our talent, our gift or our tenacity. We didn’t in my view appreciate our uniqueness, not wanting to stand out from the crowd.
What I have learned is that in fulling owning my abilities, I now have 2 almost completed manuscripts, numerous song lyrics, poems, short stories, and I contribute regularly to two blogs. I sing and play guitar, I take photographs and sometimes earn money from it, I teach English and meditation and I do these things well. I see the effect my work and my contributions have on others. It frees me up from doubt and fear to the extent that I am open to learning more and being better and that I can get things done and feel as if I am achieving something.
In fact refusing my gifts is a kind of inverted arrogance, or as my mother used to say backward snobbery. Not believing you have anything to contribute, not owning the intelligence of your human being, not wanting to see that indeed your story is unique and only you could live it, is putting yourself down. Please don’t do it. There are enough detractors around you. When you get complimented on your power or abilities, see that the person talking to you, has a different story and acknowledge that from their point of view, you are indeed brave or strong or capable of moving them.? Trust what you hear about yourself and use it as fuel to move yourself forward and achieve.
There is the story of Picasso I like when asked by someone to doodle on a napkin in a restaurant. He asked for a lot of money for his sketch and the person who asked was aghast. ‘But Mr Picasso , it only took you 60 seconds to do this doodle!‘ ‘ Yes‘, he replied,? ‘..but it took me a lifetime to learn how to do it in 60 seconds.’? ?The next time someone points out your strength, or exceptional talent, and we all have them, don’t take it as the complete expression of who you are. You are still learning, we all are. Step into that power and really own it. Be the best you, you can imagine.