I often make this trap for myself where I think that until I can believe in my ability to do something so fully that no amount of doubt ever creeps in, I haven’t “got it” yet, and my efforts will continue to fail. But perhaps believing in ourselves is not actually that different from practicing a religious faith - it’s an exercise that, by its very nature, is DEFINED by doubt. And if we do it well, we leave room for the doubt, but we also leave room - lots of room - for the wildest possible success. We invite both to show up and have a conversation with each other. We listen carefully, and see what we can learn from them. Doubt doesn’t automatically equal failure, and belief doesn’t automatically equal success. There is a long journey in between states of being, and it’s often, if not always, more circular than we imagine it will be when we are starting out.
I think we should be stopping more often to celebrate our long journeys, and all the ways we are still muddling through the woods trying to see in the dark. I think we should be popping the cork on proverbial bottles of champagne and waving goodbye to the myth that “here” is only a step on the way to “there”, and that when we reach “there” we can finally rest, lay down our arms, let down our walls, be happy. “There” has its own sets of problems. “There” is its own “here” again. If we put our happiness out “there” and set off in search of it, we will always be chasing our own tails.
I am saying this as much, if not more, for myself to hear as for you.
Today I am THIS messy puzzle of belief and doubt, determination and uncertainty, failure and success, heartbroken and glad. I am HERE. I can relax and celebrate a little. I can have a moment of happy right here in the dark forest with a flashlight. I can say hello to my heart and sit it down for a performance evaluation and tell it that everything it has ever done and all the love it has ever loved in its whole life has been enough. I can tell my heart it has been exactly right all along.