Sunday, October 21, 2012

Saying Yes

You can't betray yourself too often. Or you become somebody else.

Ed Harris


Hello Beth


Know thyself, as the old saying goes. I think getting to understand yourself is like a treasure hunt, a fishing trip or a walk through an unknown forest. One of the amazing facts of life is that there are things about you that you don't know yet, discoveries to be made, talents to uncover, values to find, surprises to experience. But those adventures can only happen if we are true to ourselves, to the selves we already are.

Wishing to be like someone is not the same as wishing to be that person. It's not a bad idea to emulate one who has skills and abilities one would like to have. When I was a working actor there were a few men I watched carefully and admiringly, who did some amazing work that I wanted to be abler to do myself: specifically Lawrence Olivier, Paul Scofield, Rod Steiger and Al Pacino. I wasn't dissatisfied with my own work, I just wanted it to be better. I never wanted to act like any one of them, I just wanted to perform as well as they did.

Since then I've made some major discoveries about myself as an artist and a person. One of them is that they are not separate entities. My artistry and my humanity are the same thing. I never expected to be a writer and now I've written a lot of fiction and over 1,900 Vagabond Journeys as well as countless emails.

What's growing in your back yard or lurking in your forest? Or, more importantly, how many blessed qualities do you possess that you are denying you have. "I'm not good enough" "I have disappointed myself and others." "I'm not smart enough to understand things." "I'm probably going to fail." "It's easier just to give up and not waste my time trying for anything bigger." "I should be content with what I am." All of those remarks and many others like them are the worst kinds of self betrayals there are.

Look at yourself in the mirror, point your finger at yourself and say "That's not all there is to me. There's a whole lot more. And I'm going to discover it." The start saying "Yes" to yourself and to all the new ideas, wishes, interests, desires and projects that occur to you. Some of them will stick to you like skin.

Dana Bate - Vagabond Journeys

Never Give Up

1 comment:

Ken Riches said...

Emulation is the most sincere form of flattery.