Honesty is what's most important in art. It's hard to come by. Too often, we wear a mask to keep our perspective hidden. That's why it takes years, or in the case of most musicians, at least three albums to speak with our voice and tell a truth about our world.
At its worst, not being honest looks like waiting instead of going first, sharing half truths, not explaining, or hiding. At its worst, it can take the form of over-inflated stories.
Being less than honest, even if not deceitful, relieves the pain in the short-term, but prevents all of life's magic in the long-term. It temporarily keeps us from being hurt when starting. When we start no one is listening. Plus, it's difficult to say I am struggling, or I'm failing, while continuing to put work into the world. Each takes courage and humility, vulnerability and emotional strength.
It's best to admit where you are, openly and honestly, show up consistently, and work tirelessly. The rest will take care of itself. And even though we want to help everyone, to reach every soul, to change them for the better, it makes more sense to start with the people we can reach, those that want to be changed for the better.
We're not alone. Every person that's made an impact in the world, has started at a similar place. And as long as you've been honest, there is nothing to be ashamed of, it may work or it may not, but at least you tried, and it's only a matter of time before you are in the right place with the right people.
Mixed Messages / Reflections Day 11
What is the story trying to say? What needs to be kept? What shouldn't be said?
The messages are done, but the long-form writing has just begun. I want to run from what must be said. I want to diminish its importance, and dull the truth. Fear is telling me to be dishonest, or less than completely honest. But fear has never helped me be alive, it's only pushed me farther from becoming myself. Fear is the reason for nearly every mistake I've made.
My mind is screaming for safety. It doesn't want to be ridiculed in the future, so it's doing all it can to make the story bland by stripping out the details. That way, no ghosts from yesterday can reappear tomorrow, and balance can remain, indefinitely. It's a safer path, with one less bruise to recover from.
I have to run towards what scares me. Every good work is a series of courageous attempts to run at fear. Those I admire, never get tired of doing so, revealing more and more until the work is complete. I'm trying to get back to a place where I can run at fear despite exhaustion, through pain, and with uncertainty.
It might happen today, or I might fail. If it doesn't happen, I'll try again tomorrow. I think it's a habit. And if it is, I can start small, running at it for a few steps. Then I can build discipline, until I can run at it for the length of entire projects.