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It’s been a long time. Apologies to those of you who have been anxiously awaiting my next post (right.) After five years I’m imagining you thought I must of died. Or given up writing all together. Of course, there’s nothing possible in between those two choices that might have accounted for my disappearance on WordPress, right?

Yes, many things have happened in my life in the time since my last post. I have traveled to Europe, the Middle East, and across the US. I have been to Burning Man.  I have seen my mother through several years of dementia and remained by her side until her death last winter. I have watched my daughters grow into fascinating, deep-thinking, completely financially independent (!) women out in the world following their own bliss. And I have sat for thousands of hours with people in pain and held them in compassion (and I hope with great skill) in my private psychotherapy practice.  Life has been full.

You might be wondering, as I have many times, “Why not write about those experiences?” Didn’t I promise that I’d be sharing stories here to help uplift my readers and that I would challenge myself to do it even though I’m sure I have nothing new or Earth shattering to say? How did I so quickly renege on my commitment to blog about progress, not perfection?  I do have so many things to say about what I continue to learn in the very rich life that I lead.

So let me share a little about my adventures with writing over the last 5 years.  I want you to know that I’ve struggled. As I’ve in a previous post, I have a part of me that is a staunch perfectionist. And I have a part of me that loves to write. Those two parts are not friends. In fact, they are often at war with each other and the easiest way to reach detente between the two is to not write. Perhaps you can relate. Most people have different parts of themselves that are opposed. We often experience that as the feeling of, “Part of me wants this but part of me wants that.” Well part of me wants to blog, and part of me wants my writing to be perfect. Not a good match.

One of the reasons I decided to blog in the first place is that writing in a vacuum isn’t appealing. I’m not someone who will quietly fill pages and pages with poetry and prose and never feel the need to have anyone read it. And I judge myself that I’m not a “real” writer if I don’t feel like I have to write whether anyone reads or not. I want interaction. I want to be read. Like most people, I want a mirror that says, “You’re the fairest in the land!” or least, “You don’t suck.”

Recently, in an attempt to kick-start my writing again, I signed up for an online class. Each week there was a theme to write on and we shared our work with our fellow classmates and the teacher giving and receiving feedback, all in written form online.The rule generally was: only positive feedback allowed. There I was, craving the magic mirror and getting it, but also knowing that I had no chance for improving my work if I only received accolades. Quite a conundrum.

And isn’t that how it goes in life? We all want those gold stars and blue ribbons but they lose their meaning if everyone gets them every time. But after brief stint with with a writing coach who unkindly told me that my poetry was not really poetry, and mocked the poets I admire,  I’ve decided that I need to find a teacher who can give me good honest feedback on my writing but do it with kindness and compassion. The Bhudda said, “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.” I’m ready for a mentor who can say what they mean, mean what they say, but not say it mean. Meanwhile, until the teacher appears, I’ll keep writing and hope you’ll be interested enough to read.

 

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