Note to Self

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:

“Fraud!”

“Charlatan!”

“Liar!”

“Pretender!”

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.

Melancholia

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Still as my breath
Slow as my step
Yet I wander
Lost in thoughts
That invade

A silent army
Of recollection
That tramples my peace
Despite the calm

I turn 54 today. My body turns 54, I’m not sure, cant be certain, how old my soul is. Surely, it is far older.

Today I feel the age.

I have pushed myself
Let myself go
Gave in to the ways
I put to the side
In favor of ways
Better

I thought they were better. Maybe they were just different. I do that sometimes; change ways simply because I know the way I was traveling was somehow wrong. Which doesn’t necessarily mean the new way is right. Just different.

My eyes in a glaze
Peer through the haze
Of what i thought was wrong to see right

Here I am. Full and alive. Willing. Capable. I see where I am going. Know each step. Know where they lead. Know.

Nothing
Not whether I will breathe another breath
Take another step
Type another word

I’m okay with that. Really, I am. I think it might be worse if I did know. I commit to the path I chose with faith.

Today I am 54. My body is, anyway.

My soul
Ripe fruit
Flowering vine
Thicket
Bramble
Branch
Leaf
That reaches for the light of the Divine
And breathes
Every second with joy
Ignites the heart
That lives within this withering shell
And maybe burns it a little
Like fragile paper
Left too long in the sun
Still
I breath
And still as my breath
My step
Slowed
My mind
Gathered
i look only to a future
Of my making
And smile

 

Happy birthday, James.