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!