I don’t think I’ve ever really met anyone who is living out of a full cup.
What I mean is: Everyone lives a lot further ahead than they really are, giving advice they don’t follow and loving others without any love for themselves and running on empty all the time. We’re all on fumes.
I’m finding out this is okay for today, and no lifetime is meant to be lived in a day.
There’s this Secret Guilt going around that we’re all halfway hypocritical frauds who will maybe one day catch up to an awesome version of ourselves. It’s a desperate hope that we’ll eventually do what we’re preaching with our mouths and our blogs. And then we blow up or flip a table or punch a wall and that monster comes out, and we think “Where did that even come from?” — and the Guilt chokes the pit of our stomach again.
The finality of settling into your own skin never arrives.
We co-exist with the monster.
I remember a famous pastor who deleted his entire backlog of podcasts from his first years of preaching. Because he “no longer agreed” with those old messages. I thought it was pretty humble. But I also thought, What about those people who heard those old messages? What if they followed through on that stuff? Are they just screwed? And ten years from now will you delete your stuff from today?
Every artist I’ve met says their first drawing, song, poem, novel, or dance routine was unworthy. They’re hard on their first creations. You know, that whole “you are your own worst critic” paranoia. But: Don’t we all have to purge these things before moving onto greatness? And what about those people who enjoyed the first creations? Are they just idiots?
Everyone keeps saying, “I used to be so stupid.” Or, “I was so empty when I taught that thing.” Or, “I didn’t even deserve to preach that sermon on marriage, my own marriage was failing.” Or, “I wasn’t even following my own advice.”
It’s a reoccurring pattern. No one ever thinks they’re good enough to do what they’re doing. Or they think now they’re okay, but everything before today was terrible. “I finally found my voice,” they say, which is at once a victory and an admission of defeat.
It’s scary to think we’re always walking in the dark, the light dissipating just out of reach.
Continue reading “Everyone’s Screwed Up, Busted Up, and Catching Up: And That’s Okay”