You don’t have to give up


My brain suddenly feels as if it’s been on verbal overload for too long.  There was a time when I couldn’t articulate, and the pressure of all the things I wanted to express was unbearable.   Gradually I found the spigot – and it’s been such a release to express myself that I haven’t been able to imagine a time when I wouldn’t have anything to say.    Or that I wouldn’t want to say anything.

I used to be locked in the prison of my silence, my inability to converse, to express.   Suddenly, today, I welcome my silence, I’m sick of verbalizing.

But before I let myself be embraced by it, I just want to say something about not giving up!

When I long for something and no matter how hard I try it doesn’t come to me, that’s not a sign that I should “get realistic” and give up on the dream.   If anything it’s a sign that I doubt my capacity to achieve my dream/s.  When things don’t work, it’s so easy to see that as evidence that I’ve got my head in the clouds, that I’m unrealistic.  It’s easy to give up.   But what I interpret as hard evidence may not be an accurate representation of ultimate truth – it just represents what I can see – which is what’s happened so far – and I don’t even see everything that’s contributed to that.

There’s a big difference.

What about all the things I can’t see, all the facts I haven’t taken into consideration?  All the things which will contribute to my success which might actually have  been set in motion already – and which I don’t know about yet?  How many times do people talk about a lucky break?  They didn’t know it was about to happen.  Take J.K. Rowling before she was published.  She was rejected – and pretty depressed about her life in fact.  She was at a real low point.  She didn’t consciously believe anything good could happen, but she didn’t give up, didn’t withdraw her book from the publishers she’d sent it to.

All the evidence that she could see showed that success wasn’t going to happen for her.  I’m quite sure the publishers who rejected her said “no market for this”.  Part of her believed it, but not enough to write to the publishers and say “okay I give up, send my manuscript back to me”.  No matter how low she was, I doubt she could stop herself hoping.  Nobody in the world knew success was coming her way.  The moment that one of the publisher’s employees picked up her manuscript off a pile  – the moment that things had been set in motion irrevocably – nobody else knew, and J.K. didn’t either.  So even at that point, when the reality of her future success was in the making, “evidence” pointed to her never being successful.

We often don’t allow ourselves to contemplate our possible success because we’re so hell-bent on believing the “evidence” of our non-success.   But “evidence” is about what’s happened, it’s not about the future.

The time of wanting to give up could be the most important time of all – could be when I sow the seeds of my conviction that my dream is meaningful and possible.   Maybe I become aware of them when I experience rejection, and I sow them with my refusal to give up.  Somebody came out here from Hollywood once; I saw him saying in an interview “doesn’t matter how far-fetched your dreams might seem, if you don’t give up, the competition drops away, you’re the one left standing, because most people give up”.  It’s got to be about what they choose to believe.

It’s a choice.  The whole world can be against me (in truth or in my perception), but I don’t have to give up if I don’t want to.  And if I don’t, how much does that contribute to my dream or desire coming to fruition?   I’ve never seen anybody who’s stayed the course say they achieved success finally by giving up and accepting that they had to be “realistic” when things weren’t going well!

The provocation to give up is often huge; there are plenty of times when all evidence seems to be pointing to the impossibility of any of my dreams coming true, when fear is on the prowl and my inner spoiler is a constant pop-up – you’re ridiculous, you’re pathetic, it’s far too late for you, your dreams are way out of your league, look at where you are now – how can you think you’ll ever get to where you want to be, blah blah blah.

Today I can see clearly that I don’t have to give too much authority to the “evidence”, don’t have to give up.  I don’t know how it can happen that I can get out of this pit, have a good income without compromising myself, own my own house, a grand piano, a decent car, wear Armani, travel, experience the stimulation I crave, become a star.  Don’t know how I can do any of it, from the small stuff to the big stuff.

The wherewithal – even within myself – doesn’t seem anywhere within my grasp.  All evidence points to the probability that I won’t attain any of my dreams, that I’m not destined to do so, that I’m not even capable of becoming financially independent, generating money for rent and food let alone for the more exciting things.

All I can say is I’m not in denial about what’s real now, I’m not blinding myself to the reality of my current situation, but I  can’t see into the future and today I’m not going to believe that it is written by where I am now.   I prefer to acknowledge that there might be a lot that’s already in motion that I can’t see, and that the belief I choose has a real part to play.

Today I can make the choice not to give up.  I don’t have to.

Even if every person in the world said to me “you can’t do it” I wouldn’t give up.   Because I’d remember that once upon a time every person in the world thought the world was flat.  One man knew it was round.  He was the one who was right.  I know I’ve said this a thousand times already.   I’ll say it as many times as I have to to keep myself participating.

Now I’m going to embrace my silence while I have my breakfast of ciabatta toast and coffee.  Yum.  Does ciabatta have one “t” or two?

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