Be Shameless

{via pinterest originally from waveavenue.com}

There’s been something weird going on with me lately. Or maybe it’s been like this for awhile. I noticed that every time I create something, I have a tinge of something. Something that comes from a deep place, but difficult to put my finger on.

Then, I started getting signs of what it could be. I was watching The Rosie Show the other day where she devoted an entire segment to the show Shameless. The word carried so much meaning with it. It stayed with me and haunted my thoughts for awhile.

And then I was thumbing through Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way and landed on page 67 on Shame. She says:

“Those of us who get bogged down by fear before action are usually being sabotaged by an older enemy, shame.”

While she says that art actually shines a light on shame, the wounds we carry from our childhood tends to gloss over that. Shame comes from our parents who wanted to keep us from coloring outside the lines. It comes from our friends who taunted us for being weird. It comes from those who wanted to keep us in the norm so that we couldn’t threaten them with our own innate power.

And as adults we keep slipping right on over it. Every time we create something, we are walking on that tight rope again. Will someone think our creation is less than? Will they think, “How dare she think she’s talented?” Or, “Who does she think she is for creating that?”

It’s a deep-rooted fear that haunts me whenever I write a post, send out a tweet, or share an update on Facebook. It’s the fear that someone will point me out and claim that I am a fake.

How to be Shameless

In the end, while feeling shame is common in creating, I realized that I don’t want to live this way anymore. Instead of repressing the hurt that comes from shame or telling yourself that it doesn’t matter, that your art doesn’t matter, why not embrace a life of shamelessness?

What does this mean?

It means telling your inner voice that:

1. you are courageous

2. that their negative review doesn’t sum up your life

3. that your art is simply an expression, not an extension of you

4. that your own way of creating is special and you don’t have to seek the approval of others to know this

5. that you are worthy just for the sake of being alive.

*The winner of this happiest book giveaway is Cory Clay. Congrats Cory! Let me know what you think of the book.

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6 comments

  1. Crystal says:

    I read this article recently about the youngest Microsoft developer (who, sadly, died recently) and she said something like, if you think you’re shy then you’ll be shy and if you think you’re confident then you’ll be confident. She said it at nine years old or so, and it totally resonated with me in the same way this line does: “you are courageous.” If you think you are courageous and you tell yourself that, then it eventually becomes true.

    ITA that shame is a huge issue for people pursuing their artistic dreams, and it really shouldn’t be. Artists used to be revered, and somewhere along the way the idea that art is a worthwhile pursuit was lost.

    • Brandi says:

      Oh Crystal, this is one of my favorite comments ever! It’s so true that at one point in time artists were powerful and revered almost as gods. As people who had gifts, not as outcasts in society. I think my resolution in 2012 is to remind myself that it takes courage to do what we do and that alone is enough. Thanks for your comment!

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