This summer as I’m taking some downtime, I’m sharing some of my favorite and your favorite posts from the archives. Hope you enjoy these selections!
Darling, We Went For It
My old career was lovely and interesting, but I was in it because I was being more loyal to my fears than to my dreams.
(I know. Ouch. It felt like an ouch when I first said those words to myself, too.)
Whenever I am telling this story and I say, “I was being more loyal to my fears than to my dreams,” people perk up. They interrupt me and repeat the phrase, turning over each word. Or they write it down. Or they gasp and drop their pens. There’s some kind of “oh sh*t” moment.
Apparently I’m not the only one who lived this way: more loyal to my fears than to my dreams.
After some years of living that way, I started hearing whispers. They said, “Remember those dreams for your childhood? The dreams about what you’d accomplish and what your life would be like?”
Then they said, “Umm, Tara? This is it. This is your adult life. Are you going to go for it or not?”
Was I going to go for it or not?
I had no idea how to get there – back to creative writing, to a creative career, to living a life that reflected me. The path seemed totally unclear, and at the same time, like an impossible hike uphill.
But one night, instead of the usual, dizzying, mental loop of overwhelm, fear, and arguing-with myself, a new thought showed up. It sounded like this, “Can you at least commit to being on your own side here? Can you just take the step to say back to your tenderest heart, Okay honey, I’ll be on your side. I can’t promise you results, but I will try to get what you want.”
I had not been on the side of my own dreams. I had been on the other side, arguing with my dreams, convincing myself they weren’t real or weren’t realistic.
That night, I stepped back across the line, to being on my own side.
I didn’t get perfect. A million times since then, and still everyday now, I fall short of being my own friend and advocate. I shrink the dreams down. I get so caught up in fear I can’t even remember what they are.
And yet, something shifted that night. I agreed to let the dreams-soul-longings-desires lead, instead of the fear.
I shifted because I really got it: the soul’s longings, it’s destiny, will keep fighting for fulfillment. It will not give up. And pushing aside it’s voice will only get harder. So really, the shift was a surrender. The safe and convenient choices were surrendered to the hungers of the soul.
It is a sacred ritual, stepping back, across the line, to be on the same side as our dreams. Instead of being divided against yourself, together the strong, calloused by the world, bad-ass you, and your tender, vulnerable, dreaming heart face the critics, the challenges, the obstacles.
It is a pivotal moment of saying, “Yes, honey, yes, we are going for this. I’ve got your back.”
It is giving a spacious home to the inner whispers, never again cutting them off, out of your own fear.
It is trying, just trying, to go for your heart’s desires.
We make the move to have a shot at joy. We make the move because our souls ask us to. We make the move because it is too painful not to.
We make the move because at the end of it all, we want to be able to say, to that most alive and longing and hungry part of us: Darling, we went for it.