Recently, I was introduced to the term “imposter syndrome” which is defined as “a concept describing individuals who are marked by an inability to internalize their accomplishments and a persistent fear of being exposed as a fraud.”
Since I don’t feel like I’ve actually accomplished anything yet I argued that it really doesn’t apply to me (“that’s the point” she replied in silence). I am, however, quite intimate with the “fraud” part.
There’s so much I want to say. So many things I want to write about. I have a passion in me that has been ignited in a way that is impossible to extinguish. Nor would I want to extinguish it.
But the words won’t come.
Instead all I hear is:
How can I write about those things I feel and the lessons I have to share if I am unable to create and maintain them in my own life? Why should anyone listen to me? Why do the people I know continue to come to me for advice? I have had no success in love (or in life, really) to point at as an example and what I have learned I have learned painfully.
Rather than expose myself as that fraud I have written nothing but in doing so I prove that sense of failure because what I write about most often is hope and gratitude.
Some time back I read an article in the Buddhist review “Tricycle” by the Zen monk, Shozan Jack Haubner, who says:
“The only thing worse than trying to look younger than you are is trying to look wiser than you are.”
So I remind myself that my only failure is in thinking I’d be wiser by now and forgetting that I am only as wise as I allow my experiences to make me.
It is the suffering that has taught me the things I write about and though I don’t write about them in a “woe is me” manner does not mean I am pretending, it simply means I am learning.
Today I recommit myself to sharing what I have learned and to expressing the fire that burns in my soul because to hide it, or to hide from it, would truly make me a fraud.
As Shozan says, “…we all must commit wholeheartedly, moment after moment, to the life we have…”
This is my life. I will live it to the fullest. Even if that means pretending a little.