Exploring an affirmation from The Artist’s Way.

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It is a really funny moment when you discover you have been lying to yourself the whole time. I have always enjoyed self-development, in the form of books, courses, you name it. And of course the primary reason for this is that I have always felt that there are things in me that I need to correct, or to improve. I have always felt, very deeply, that there is something that is wrong with me, and that’s why I’m angry, that’s why I suffer, that’s why I feel sad and lonely. And that is why, in turn, I have always looked for growth, for knowledge, for answers.

These last 9 days I have been writing the Morning Pages have been revelatory for me. Of course there are things that need to improve, that could make your life easier, better, lovelier. And on those ones, you have focused completely. But you start writing, and notice that you have been repeating to yourself the same things again and again and you don’t realise that there are BIG problems you haven’t even had a glimpse of, until now.

For example, I have always known that I am the Procrastination Queen, and that I have a tendency to close my eyes to problems in the hope that they will go away. Sometimes they go, along with self-worth, self- confidence, relationships. But you learn to live like this, although you feel like shit, especially because your parents do the same and you have had no other model to follow.

And it is not that I am trying to blame anyone. Yes, I learned a pattern. But I am a grown woman who is still trapped in the pattern, and again, I cannot blame myself entirely for this. The truth is I hadn’t noticed quite why I do the things I do. Why they keep being real for me despite having been working on myself for so many years.

While going through the Affirmations for Week 1, I found one that I found particularly difficult for me to stomach, and, as the book says, that’s where the juice is.

Through the use of a few simple tools, my creativity will flourish.

Through the use of a few simple tools, my creativity will flourish.

Through the use of a few simple tools, my creativity will flourish.

Through the use of a few simple tools, my creativity will flourish.

Through the use of a few simple tools, my creativity will flourish.

Through the use of a few simple tools, my creativity will flourish.

Through the use of a few simple tools, my creativity will flourish.

Through the use of a few simple tools, my creativity will flourish.

Through the use of a few simple tools, my creativity will flourish.

Through the use of a few simple tools, my creativity will flourish.

This felt so untrue the first time I read it, that I knew I had to sit down and do the work. I had to sit down and think why this simple sentence made me so uncomfortable.

The truth is that I don’t believe it, at all. By reading it I feel the same hopelessness I feel when I contemplate my future, or the dreams I have lost, or the fact that I have wasted 20 years of my life doing a job that doesn’t feed my soul.

The truth is that I cannot believe that living a creative, imaginative life can be so easy. I cannot believe that those tools exist, or that they are available to me. I feel like maybe I have had them in front of me all the time but that it’s as if I had been given the tools of a carpenter or a mechanic, that I have no idea how to use. Maybe I can clean them and order them, but that’s pretty much the extent of it, I can’t do anything with them.

What simple tools? Part of me feels the anger starts to boil. If it were that simple, I would have done it very long ago. If it were that simple, I wouldn’t have abandoned so many dreams. If it were that simple my life would be different now.

But I breathe through the anger and listen to myself and to how stupid all of this really is. Tools might be easy, but only for those who learn how to use them. Using a pen or pencil is easy, but only if you have practised writing. Computers are pretty easy to, but you need to explore them, ask questions, and repeat the same actions again and again until they become part of you. Like walking. Like talking. Like riding a bike.

And this is where I realised what my big problem is, the one that functions as the background or the theme to all of the other mini problems I have in my life: it has been a mixture of cowardice, of thinking that if I want to be a writer I’ll will wake up tomorrow being one, and of being afraid of making mistakes, of being a beginner.

And as long as I do not embrace being a beginner, falling down and getting up again, making mistakes as the way to learn, nothing will ever move, I will remain stagnant, frozen, and trapped.

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