Thursday, September 24, 2009

False Thinking Number One

I have no idea just how many posts about "false thinking" I could or may eventually write. Trust me, I have no interest in actually sitting down to analyze, categorize, and count up! And trust me again, we all might get a little fatigued and bored if I wrote about every last itty bitty one.

I'm sure there are lots of variations on false thinking that will crop up as I proceed, so it's likely there will be more posts related to this one.

The kinds of false thinking I'm thinking about usually relate to fear. Fear, especially the unacknowledged subterranean kind, conjures all sorts of stories, scenarios, reasons, strange logic, and the like, all designed to keep us safe and sound, and for me that usually means, stuck, hidden, playing small kinds of stuff.

A perfect example cropped up a couple of weeks ago after I saw the movie Julie and Julia. I called it "The Julie/Julia Syndrome" and blogged about it over on Trusting Delight. The basic gist of it was this, the fruit of the old, familiar deadly comparison game:

"Well, clearly I haven't got the right kind of blog to become a big hit and turn into a book and a popular movie starring Meryl Streep, so . . . why bother?" and "I keep reading and being told that no one reads blogs anymore, so . . . why bother?" and "Blogs are SO passe internet phenom, so . . . " You get the rather repetitive idea."

The current example (so, I suppose this should be called "False Thinking Number Two" or maybe even Two Thousand and Twenty-Nine) is the suggestion--no, it's more than a suggestion; let's call it a forceful, pig-headed opinion (and I mean no offense to pigs).

This particular stubborn and false-thinking opinion holds that I have no right, no authority from which to tell my "journey to freedom" story until I have gotten to the promised land. What do I know about the way to freedom if I haven't really gotten all the way yet? (Questions like how will I even know when I've gotten "all the way" are not considered relevant by the manager of the false thinking factory.) Why should anyone trust me?

Even though trusted friends as well as people who barely know me seem to agree that the real, raw story of traveling to freedom is what interests them. That is, the pitfalls and false starts and wrong turns and the keeping going make for a more compelling, real, and accessible story than if I were to write from some obnoxious higher ground of invulnerability or perfection.

And there's always that possibility that the process of writing the story little bit by little bit might also be part of the key to freedom, might even be the last little vessel or vehicle needed to cross the last bit of territory. Because writing, like most every creative endeavor, has the power to carry the creator to new and usually unexpected, or at least hard to control, "places".

"Places" such as the promised land and freedom are of course not really places on a map, places to arrive at where you plunk down your bags and set up shop and stay put happily ever after. Freedom, to state the obvious, is much more likely to be an ongoing process, a matter of personal commitment to keep facing my fears when they arise, to being open to learning new tools and practices for staring down, or better yet, befriending the fears and moving forward with them rather than waiting for a time when they cease to exist.

Moses is said to have seen the promised land from afar just before he died, but he wasn't allowed to cross over and actually to set foot in it and on it. But really, the promised land, the territory of freedom (happiness, joy, creativity, and so  much more), is an inside job, not an outside location. And that means we get to be there now, moment by moment. And that's plenty to sing and dance about right now! And now. And now.


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