Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Day 239: I have to praise you like I should.

Vulnerability and Praise.
I notice as I struggle to write, practice guitar and sing in the privacy of my own home that these two words seem to continually battle it out.
Being vulnerable is just part of being an artist. I know that.
But it is a frightening thing.
Hence my writer’s block and the retiring of my guitar and microphone.
Stage fright, in every form.

Why this mental block and lack of confidence?
What reason do I have, when I have been lucky to receive much praise?
Not just from family and friends but complete strangers who have sent letters, cards, flowers and emails demonstrating their support of my endeavors over the years.

Why instead did I choose to focus on the ones who didn’t encourage?
Like that one, slimy A&R guy that didn't want to sign me…
Or that one teacher who said I wasn’t a good writer…
And even recently, why did I fixate on the folks that laughed at my blog as a trivial journal, when I know that it has been the best practice and stepping stone towards finding my written voice again?

It’s so interesting how selective our mind, heart and ego can be.
And what we choose to sabotage.
Why would I let any negative comment or person factor in on the creation of my biggest dream?
Why would I want to suffocate or abolish the things that make me feel the most alive?
As I move through this creative reawakening, I can appreciate the value of genuine praise.
And it is a beautiful, beautiful gift.
To give and receive.
It’s water on the plant.
To tell someone sincerely, “Hey, I believe in you. This is good work. You’re something special. Don’t give up, because you will succeed.”

It’s tough out there.
Believing in your own talent and potential is an uphill battle.
Blocking out criticism that isn’t constructive is bloody hard.
And vulnerability is a scary, scary thing.
But it’s so good for you, too.
And we should all praise it a little more.

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