A few weeks ago, several of us met in a lovely place by the creek for a day of creativity. This weekend we are supposed to present our creations. I have not been looking forward to it. Presenting makes me nervous, takes me out of my comfort zone. I ran into one of my fellow presenters at meditation this week and was grousing about how nervous I felt and how I just wanted to sit in the audience and watch the performance, and so on and so on. My friend asked, "Who is it that is so nervous?"
I laughed it off and continued wallowing in my trepidation about the coming performance. This morning, Missy and I went on a long walk and that question came back to me. Who was it that was feeling the nervousness? After years of working on this stuff, I immediately knew that it was the part of me that felt like the only way to be safe was to be invisible. It was the part of me that felt that being perfect was the only way to be loved and accepted.
It's pretty hard to be invisible or perfect, when you're performing your own writing in front of a group of people. I thought I had conquered this need to be invisible and perfect, or perfectly invisible. I've been pouring out my far-from-perfect life in this blog for almost two years, and my art is hanging naked in as many willing places as I can find. That's pretty darn visible, but this performance thing is challenging me to take another step and I will...but I'd rather not.
Yesterday, Diane at Contemplative Photography offered us this quote from Rilke: Perhaps everything that frightens us is, in its deepest essence, something helpless that needs our love.
Performing frightens me. What if I forget my lines or look stupid or people don't understand what I'm trying to say? So, what is the "something helpless that needs our love" in that? If I felt as if I were truly loved, accepted and safe, I probably wouldn't feel that way. which brings the "something" back to me. I need to love and accept myself. Tonight's audience will be a friendly, loving one. The only harsh critic in the room will be me.
I want to relax and have fun with this. We have a great performance coach and this is an opportunity to stretch a little, learn a little and probably laugh a lot. Our rehearsal is tonight. I'll keep you posted.
About this image: "The Peril of Creativity," images are all from Puerto Vallarta