How Do I Find the Courage to Be My Own Guide?
Let's get to the letter I'm gonNA reach to you. Do your sugars a thirty four year old woman and I'm recently coming to terms with the fact that I spent my life being too afraid to do what I WANNA do time after time. I've let social norms guide me where I've looked others for their opinions about my next step my purpose while I've learned a lot from many teachers writers philosophers and therapists. It seems crucial at this point. I learned how to listen to my own heart and be brave enough to follow it. I WANNA be my own guide. It may seem ironic then for me to be asking for your advice. But I'm not asking you to tell me what I should be doing. It's how how do I learn to trust myself the way I did when I was a kid before I decided that other people knew better than me and gave them all the power. How do I learn to recognize my heart's voice and stand up for what it wants? How do I avoid falling back into that safe prison of what someone else thinks? I should but not what I truly want to do. Emily Dickinson wrote the heart. Wants what it wants or else it does not care. I know this to be true and I don't WanNa find myself back in a job or relationship or pursuit. My heart doesn't care about. How do I tend to my heart and keep it bay? The people the thoughts the fears that threaten this fledgling relationship between my heart and me sincerely hardward bound powerful interesting Have you asked yourself these questions when I first read it? I thought about our very first episode. And you know you're saying you're saying well. What what. What sort of been guiding precept in thinking about these questions of how you kind of get actualized and start building a life that feels more authentic. And what you. WanNa be doing on earth. Because you don't have a long time and I feel like we gotta as quickly as we can get to the things that really are meaningful to us and I thought about that. John Prion lyric that. I told you so many years ago. Your heart gets bored with your mind. And it changes you and heart bound is describing that my heart is bored with my mind But it's something even more than that in this case it's the there are other people and other voices. They're getting in the way of what she wants to do to whom she is been obedient and finds herself being obedient. So Hartford bound. You know when I read your letter there these questions that are kind of big abstract questions and I'm going to ask you to be more concrete about them on read back a couple to you. How do I learn to trust myself the way I did? I was a kid before I decided that other people knew better than me and gave them all the power. So my question to you is what other people. And how did you give them power? And how are you in your life? Giving them power you write how to avoid falling back into that safe prison. I love that safe prison of doing what someone else thinks I should do. Who are these someone else's you have to be specific about who they are and how to try to counteract them actively and specifically and there's only one way to really genuinely counteract them and that is to decide that they are not the voices who will determine what you do with your life at this point where you're at heart bound you're still bound up actually in those other voices in those other. People are those social conventions the fact that you wrote this letter. It's an indication that you're stepping away from that. And so you ask how do how do you learn how to trust yourself and the first thing I wanna say is that this is not something you learn one time. Do One time right. It's something that you do every day over and over again for years and years and years and the meaning of life that you put into action looks different at different times but it's always returning to the idea that you really need to trust yourself and I'll say that for me. I love this phrase brave enough I mean aside for the fact that actually a title one of my books. I love that you used this phrase. I need to learn how to listen to my heart and be brave enough to follow it and the way you do that as you just get brave enough not to have some big glorious life that you just cast off all conventions and other voices but you're brave enough to make one step in the direction that you WanNa go and that is for you. Heart rebound. I actually think it's your writing us this ladder that you've even popped your head above that sort of surfaced a enough to say you know what. I'M NOT GONNA listen to all these people anymore. I need to trust myself. That's the first step in my life. You know in really practical terms in every arena. I've had to do this as most. I'm sure Steve. You've done as well. Were you have to say this would be the thing that would be like the conventional the norm the thing that would be easier for other people around me and and some waste for myself to do? I mean any writer sample. We stepped into this profession knowing that it was probably a bad idea because you know most people need a career because they need to pay their bills right and the minute you decide to be a writer or an artist of any sort. You're you're you're saying okay. I'm going to take this risk and I'm not gonNA listen to the voices of reason and and security and all that stuff. I'm going to walk this. Paf heart bound. You mentioned relationships too. You know we're supposed to make nice. Were supposed to be in relationships. Please people around us. Sometimes you have to step off that path. You adopt a position in relation to all the people who love you that disappoints those people in your case. You're like keep thinking about you have to go off and do something that's crazy. Yeah and it's not just the going the idea of having going off and hiking the trail and it's not the inspiration the realization. The moment you say I'm leading lights. That doesn't feel real enough to me. It's the perspiration of at every point where it seems impossible and doomed battle through it. The backpack is ridiculous. You brought all this stuff along. Your feet are bloody your reason wild resonated with so many people because at every point you ran up against the real hard work of making an a difficult inconvenient decision. I would also say that within this letter this idea of how do I get back to a childlike state? A state where I trust myself and instinctual state and what I say oftentimes to writing students and try to say to say it to myself is look. Consciousness is by nature obsessive children. Come into the world obsessed that is they care about things too much and what happens with obsession. Is that socialized. We beat down the voices that care about things too much in that feel too much and part of the artist's journey. I guess is to say screw that I do care about it too much. I am to invest in. I'm obsessed with it and I'm going to be honest about obsession rather than trying to lead a safer more. Conventional approved life but it's an emotionally and psychologically inconvenient arrangement because you feel more and you face certain things about yourself that bring you away from arrangements that are there and especially in our culture to kind of keep you insulated from deep feeling. Yeah but you know. I love that you singled out this this phrase because I thought the same thing I I want to trust myself the way I did when I was a kid and you know kids will sometimes be at play and they will say these absurd things and create these sort of outlandish scenarios imaginative play worlds. Don't make sense to the people around them. They absolutely make sense to them. I remember you know like my son. One time you know he just. He found a deck of cards in a room and sort of far off room in the house and one by one he. He took one card at a time and ran to the other end of the house until he had stacked them at the end of the House and he was so determined it made sense to him in the only person. It didn't seem crazy to him. Yeah because he was so engaged in doing and you know when you said Al Gough. Maybe you have to go off and do something crazy what I think about that is. It doesn't matter if what if what you're doing seems crazy to other people right to you. It's right and that's how my hike was you know. Never did I feel so right then when I went off and did something that many others perceived as crazy that can like I agree you. That can be a very hard life when you first step off the path but I think the harder life is never stepping off the path while always to do