Where you start is not where you stay

How long do you suppose it takes us to decide that being a beginner sucks?

I can’t speak for you, but as a young kid I don’t recall thinking twice about being a beginner and pondering its implications. I just wanted to try things I’d see others doing, so I’d fearlessly jump in and begin without consideration of my shortcomings.

I was FREE.

Because I just didn’t care. I didn’t care what I looked like doing it, whether I was good at doing it, or whether I had a shot at being the best at doing it. I just wanted to do it for the sake of doing it. Until I learned otherwise, at which time my thinking mind overshadowed my heart’s ability to unabashedly offer me encouragement in venturing forth without reserve.

I was no longer free.

Because rather than the joyful observance of life through the pure lens of a child’s heart, I’d begun viewing it through the distorted goggles of societal conditioning, marring my perception with fears of personal inadequacy in “measuring up”.

Performance eclipsed joy. The level of abilities honed and the desired outcome of the activity now overshadowed the bliss derived from taking part in it. It just didn’t make sense to continue with something that you weren’t any good at.

Or does it?

Why must it? Who says so and why should I care?

THIS is one thing I love about aging- asking yourself long overdue questions and subsequently being led to stop in the tracks of what you’ve long been thinking or doing to question why the hell you’re thinking or doing it. Do you even know? Does it actually apply to the life you’re currently living? In actuality, did it ever?

To what extent will we choose to become a prisoner to public opinion? I recently read an enlightened quote from Philosopher Bertrand Russell that I’ve taken to heart:

“One should respect public opinion insofar as is necessary to avoid starvation and keep out of prison, but anything that goes beyond this is voluntary submission to an unnecessary tyranny.”

-Bertrand Russell

Unnecessary tyranny… hmm, since you put it that way…

We’re free to BE.

You don’t have to have a beautiful voice to sing your song.

A fast gait to get where you’re going.

A pretty face in order to show up and reveal it.

Lovely words to tell your story.

You just need the willingness to find your IN, whatever that may be, and BEGIN.

Being a beginner is not something to be afraid or ashamed of- it’s something to be IN AWE OF. A reminder to self that I’m still here and I’m doing this thing. And I don’t have to be good at it- I don’t have to be anything.

Take off your goggles of distortion today and fuel yourself with the unconditional acceptance and respect you showed yourself as a child, understanding that the ability to do so is a soul workout that requires daily practice and patience.

I’m a beginner who’s working on that. It’s where I start. Not where I stay.

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