It’s last week – Sunday 28 February, the day before I normally post my blog and to be honest I was struggling. The time before, my blog got lots of likes and reads and I’m worried this one isn’t as good. That no one will be interested. Should I not post it then?
I choose to read my native American medicine cards which I often turn to when I’m in need of guidance or new wisdom or perspective. I close my eyes, fan the cards and pull out Horse. Horse is certainly powerful and I read the wisdom carefully and with respect but I don’t feel it helps me today. Resigned, I put it away in the pack with the other cards. Then I notice another card left lying forgotten on the desk top. Curiously I turn it over. It’s Jaguar. That’s my card.
Jaguar reminds me to ‘not feed any self-important need to be an ‘enlightened one’, treating others in a self righteous manner.’
My cheeks flush as I know I can be guilty of this – I have fantasies of being seen as a ‘wise woman,’ a truth holder. I can see how egotistical that is, how contrary to true wisdom, true enlightenment. I can see the hubris, the self pride. As Jaguar teaches us, ‘personal integrity allows for mistakes, embraces forgiveness and humbly makes self-directed corrections, allowing a rebalanced spirit to triumph once again’.
And I see how I’m starting to believe the story that the blog has to be a certain way, that each one has to be ‘better’ than the one before. That it stands or falls on how many likes and how many reads. I remind myself that this blog is my writing practice, that I’m writing to free myself and my creativity. That I set out this year to write not with the intention to be attached to any particular outcome. But just to write. Simply to express myself. And share my words with those who wish to read them. And if that’s nobody, well, let’s see what that feels like.
That is my journey and my challenge; learning not to try so hard to control how my life goes, to prevent loss or failure; unhappiness or disappointment; fear or tears or grief.
I couldn’t see what Milo of Croton was teaching me.
But here’s a possibility; we can’t control who we like or dislike. Who we are drawn to. Who we fall in love with. Or out of love with. Or who for that matter doesn’t like us. Or falls out of love with us.
We can’t control the tree that snaps shut when we make a disastrous mistake. Prevent wild animals eating us when we get stuck in the forest. We can’t control our future. Or live forever.
Better to live wholeheartedly, dare to post a mediocre blog once in a while. Or often. Or always. Or never. Who’s the judge of that anyway?
The simple pleasure of living your life, trying things out, risking failure or not being liked. Getting up again the next morning and trying something else.
Speaking up when you feel vulnerable or ashamed.
Because for sure someone in your tribe will hear and appreciate you and your words. They may even rescue you from the trap in the tree or the jaws of the wild animal. Or offer their wisdom when you can’t see clearly. Hold you close when you’re afraid or lonely or ashamed. And forgive you if sometimes you put ego above personal integrity.