No one who has ever sat beside the sea and experienced her eternal power and gentleness can have any questions that the sea knows that she is just that, the sea. Nature has such an ability to be exactly what she is, with no pretense, and she does not even have to stop and think about it.
~Anne Wilson Schaef
I love that quote! Thank you Thinking Too Hard.
We all have a true nature within us. We all have a thing that we are more than anything else. Most of us aren't that thing exactly. Most of us don't know how to be that thing, much less be that thing without pretense. Most of us haven't a clue how to be that thing without stopping and thinking about it.
Even when we know our true nature (and I believe that few of us have acknowledged that, much less figured it out), and are pursuing being that very thing, we find ourselves unable to do it without question and doubt. I'm no different. I've come to a point in my life where I know there are certain things I was born to do, to experience, to be. Still, I find myself thinking, "But... what if no one else gets it?"
And so what if they don't? Does that matter? Should it? I don't think so. I think when you're being who you need to be, and being that with everything you've got, the rest falls into place. The water sloughs off, the mud settles, and the gold shines through. Anyone who can't see that it's right for you can go pound sand.
I should know. There's a reason my daily affirmation includes, "I am a writer. I am an artist. I am creative." There'd be no need for an affirmation if I completely believed it. Years and years ago, when my younger brother asked me to play piano for his wedding, my first response was, "Really?!" Earlier this year when friends asked me to design their wedding invitations, my first response was, "Wow! Are you sure?" A couple of weeks ago when someone asked to buy one of my paintings, my response was, "Are you kidding?!" Part of those responses was the delight in being recognized, but I'll admit that a bigger part was astonishment that they considered my work worthy, wonder that they "got" it.
Yet, I've become bolder. I've gotten better at sticking my foot in the door and saying, "Hey, I'm here!" I just need to learn to shout it. If my work is honest, if it is a reflection of my true nature, then letting the world see it isn't at all pretentious (and being pretentious is a fear of mine because I can't stand pretentious people). If what I do is what I am, then there's no shame in it.
Take me for what I am,
who I was meant to be
and if you give a damn
take me baby, or leave me
I will keep pushing, keep creating. I have to. I'm Barb Black and I have to be Barb Black. It's only natural.