You know what I went through, how I wedged myself into doubt, how I secured a foothold on the cliff and watched my words fall into the pit waiting for an echo that never arrived. The bright sun of summer did not warm the winter in me, but I hung in there believing an answer would come. I kept looking to you to toss me a line, to point the way back to the garden. I don’t blame you for your silence. I won’t lay my failures at your feet. I wonder, though, what it took for you to lift yourself up, to brush the dirt off your boots, and to raise your eyes to meet the world as it is. And I am steeped in curiosity because what I feel from you, more than anything else, is gratitude.
I see you looking out, having realized the answers inside are found in the world outside, and the posts on your path all point the same way. Your poetry comes from your place in the world and not from the pale skin of your own hide. You made choices I dared not even think because I was wedged into doubt and feared my angel had abandoned me. You know it all started with an "about face" and a first step surefooted; when I stopped waiting for a turn of phrase and bent my ear back to the world; when I gave up the search for the lost treasure that always lead me to look elsewhere and, instead, gave my eyes to life, to this life, to this world, to this moment where, each time, I staked my claim posting signs of gratitude, and all of them point the same way.
December 4, 2016 : I remember composing this letter at a low point in early July, 2016. I was putting the final touches on my last book, The Work Of Being Your Self, a workbook that included some previous and some new poems and I already felt the lag between projects. I felt uninspired. My writing had slowed to a trickle. I felt the poetry I was producing was drab and shoddy. By my judgment, I had not written a "really good" poem since 2014 and the publication of Divine Whispering. I had held this opinion for well over a year and I wondered if the muse had left me.
But when I cast my vision toward my future self, the self of today, I felt gratitude for it all, even for the seemingly insurmountable dry spell in my writing. The truth is that I write every day, with very rare exception, and I produce more than ever before. The truth is that my judgement is not the final word; that my work, whatever its merit, is an act of soul that I simply must do as an essential expression of Self, no matter what the world or I think of it. Whenever I hit bottom, I always land on this truth and it always comes with deep gratitude that I have found this treasure, that I have this gift, that I know what I am meant to do and what I am about! I always land on gratitude and each time I see that all the signs point the same way!
This is an entry in my series of "Letters To Future Self." I pick a date, usually around 6 months in the future, check my calendar to see what is scheduled, and then write a letter storing it in the reminder system on Evernote to be read on the selected date. I do not look at the letter again until the "arrival" date. To read other Letters To Future Self, click the tag below.
NOTE ON RECORDING
I originally titled this piece "You Are Here," but, after the recording, decided to change the title to "All The Signs Point The Same Way." Same content in the recoding except for the title!
How do you deal with self-doubt?
What do you do to lift yourself up and move on
when you have fallen?
What do you do because you must do it
for the sake of your soul?
In what way might your doubts be your ally?
Writing prompt (use the prompt and write whatever comes to mind, free-form and unedited for 10 minutes) : The answers I seek are found...
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