Sunday, March 29, 2009

Blessing, Revisited

I had another thought this morning, during meditation, about the reticence I described the other day in my entry about blessing. One powerful lesson that was implanted in my youthful mind was that I should not grow "too big for my boots." I learned that modesty and humility were among the highest values, and that pride was not not merely reprehensible, it was sinful. At boarding school, too, this lesson was reinforced by the hard-earned understanding that, unless one had special skills in sportsmanship or intellect, the risk of targeting for scorn or ridicule could be significantly reduced by keeping a low profile.

Reticence, then, was a lesson that I learned well, and that served me in many ways poorly in later life. It served me poorly as a writer. For years I chose to believe that others had far greater skills than I, and this conviction kept me prisoner to what I now see to be a false image of myself. Thinking small is a self-fulling prophesy. Condemning what I judged to be presumptuousness in myself and others, I effectively choked my voice off at the throat and throttled the real, authentic communication that good writing requires.

I know that there are many much younger writers among my readers, and from the wisdom of my own experience I'd like to invite them with these thoughts to embrace grandiosity rather than modesty; that they accept and celebrate their own brilliance without reservation or reticence; that they worry less about the size of their boots than the wonderful sensation of feet on the ground--if only in preparation to take flight. It's from a place of generosity that good things come--including blessings.

Have a great Sunday!


Nancy Youdelman said...

Good morning Peter,
I can relate to my upbringing leading me to want to keep a low profile--I was badly tormented by an older brother. I trained my face to not show any emotion because that would open me up to torture.

I am a visual artist and spent years overcoming self doubt which caused hesitation. To be think small can be deadly for an artist. Although some artists have made some fabulous small works--that is not what we are talking about here.

So thanks for your gems of wisdom today!

Pete Hoge said...

Yesterday I felt brilliant
and intelligent...painting,
and playing keyboards...reading
and studying.

Reminded myself the whole time
that I am not the only one who
feels this way and all of us
share in the same source of creative power.

The Sanskrit term ," lila" comes
to knowing
it's creation through us.

Joyful journey to you.


PeterAtLarge said...

Thanks for checking in, Nancy. I think we agree on the kernel of the issue!

Pete, great to have a day like that! I wish you many more...

Mozart said...

Hmmm...the lessons from your youth are still very prevalent today in my generation. "Modesty" to a fault is definitely something that I've been taught.

Maybe you make a very good point.