40,000 Word Compassion

Another throwback post, but the essence is still relevant:

Well, well, well, will you look at that! I’ve managed to hit my 40,000 word goal on a book I was working on!!

I’ve gotta say, I’m actually pretty proud of this. This is the first time I’ve managed to make it this far with a manuscript. Without, of course, all the usual self-loathing and self-degrading, negative, anxious talk of this sucks! or you’ll never make it! You can’t possibly be a writer! You’re no good at anything! Anything at all! 

Once upon a time I wrote 50,000 words. Then I shut it away in a random document somewhere and hid it from the world. Because it wasn’t good enough. Because it wasn’t perfect. Because no one could ever love me.

It. Love it.

I mean it.

Did I say me?

Maybe I did really mean me. That was the real problem after all. Not me. Just the fact that I couldn’t love me. That I couldn’t even love myself enough to recognize what an achievement 50,000 words was. That I got a college degree and upon graduation I just shrugged my shoulders like it was no big deal and like everyone everywhere does it every day. Because no matter what I did or accomplished, I would never be good enough. I would never be enough. No matter how many honors or awards I received or how many people I helped or what I did with my life or how much money I made. None of it would ever be enough.

Because I was never enough for me.

There is some truth to the fact that, if you can never be enough for yourself, how will you ever be enough for another person? It’s sort of like trying to convince someone else to hire you when you don’t even think you’re worth hiring. It doesn’t really work that way.

For me, at least, I would never let myself be enough for another person. I really like using italics in this post. I mean, really.

The greatest gift that I could ever give myself as a writer, a girlfriend, a fiancé, an employee, or just a person in general,  has been the gift of self-compassion. Of allowing myself to give myself a small pat on the back and accept that gift gratefully whenever I achieve a goal. Or when I don’t achieve a goal. Or when I half-achieve a goal. Or when I’m not talking about achievement in any real sense at all.

Sometimes the only achievement we need is to achieve a little extra self-love. A little extra compassion for ourselves as we navigate this sometimes rough and crazy, wild west tale of a life. A tale full of gunslingers and bank robbers and scalpers and outlaws and those people of the night we know we shouldn’t have slept with in the first place.

Sometimes we just need to disappear into the sunset with ourselves and create our own fairy-tale ending of self-love.




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