“The only one who can embarrass you is you.” - Linda Belcher (of “Bob’s Burgers” fame)
Truer words have never been spoken. To be honest, it’s taken a long time to get this post out here. Writing about food is one thing - but getting a little more personal on your blog? Yeah, not so easy. Most of my hesitation in pressing that “publish” button has been from fear - that voice that tells you, “no one cares what you have to say”, and “you’ll probably sound really dumb and embarrass yourself”. Although that voice is still whispering in my ear, for the meantime I’ve told it to SHOVE IT and that I’m gonna do it anyways. Dang, that felt good.
You can’t move forward if you don’t take your first step, right?
I’m calling this new series “Sunday Shift”, as these posts will be distinct from what you’ve seen on this blog so far. They’re (probably) not going to be food related, there will (most likely) be some feels. The intention of this series is to start your week with some thoughtful content to chew on :)
Sunday Shift is an opportunity to put words to stuff (i.e. literature, art, nature) that has been impacting me of late. I fully believe that writing something down assists you to better remember it. Writing down your thoughts helps them stick to your soul.
Let’s keep our souls sticky and our minds moldable.
Thanks for reading the very first post! Please leave any feedback in the comments! xo
This week I’m reflecting on a couple passages from the freakin’ awesome Bohemian poet, Rainer Maria Rilke. I recently finished his “Letters to a Young Poet”, a collection published in the late 1920’s of ten of Rilke’s letters to a cadet at a military university (http://amzn.to/1srNwNM). It’s a fairly short read that’s chock-full of thoughtful commentary.
In his letters, Rilke offers poignant life advice that can be taken to heart for all, future poets or not. I’m always down for some good life lessons - so this piece of literature is highly recommended.
Here’s the first chunk o’ goodness:
“We have no cause to be mistrustful of our world, for it is not against us. If it has terrors they are our terrors; if it has abysses those abysses belong to us, if dangers are there we must strive to love them.”
Oof. This really hit home for me. The world is not against me? Are you sure about that? So often I feel like I’m struggling against all odds to even get out of bed in the morning, and I’m preeetty certain it’s my bed’s fault.
But no, it’s not. It’s mine. I choose to keep hitting my alarm. I choose to stay inside instead of taking a walk in the fresh air. I choose to tell myself I can't, when deep down I know I can.
Instead of blaming someone else for the bad way that I’m feeling, it's integral to remember that “these abysses belong to us”. I gotta own my choices, my situations. I choose my reaction to the circumstances I find myself in.
The rough patches? The struggles? I shouldn’t be fearful when these tough times come along. Instead of running farther away from my issues, I must press into them. It’s really freakin' hard to do that, but it's necessary in order to better understand why I am where I am right now (mentally, emotionally).
Turning inward and becoming present to myself allows me to love these hardships. Loving them means knowing and understanding them, and understanding them allows me to grow from them.
Onto the next passage. One of my personal life mottos is finding the beauty in all things, so this really resonated with me.
“How could we forget those old myths which are to be found in the beginnings of every people; the myths of the dragons which are transformed, at the last moment, into princesses; perhaps all the dragons of our life are princesses, who are only waiting to see us once beautiful and brave.”
Why can’t a dragon just stay a dragon forever? Dragons are cool. Wait. Not really. They can be pretty dang sassy/terrifying.
To me, the most famous dragon is Smaug. Smaug scared the crap out of my when I was little, reading “The Hobbit”. He was big, greedy, and really strong/could melt your flesh instantaneously. Smaug was not someone you wanted to mess with. However, no one in Middle Earth was better off in avoiding him forever. Inevitably, someone needed to slay the dragon.
(*SPOILER ALERT* Smaug does not turn into a princess.)
There has been and will continue to be dragons in my life - the menacing, pervasive crap that’s seems to be there to ruin days. If I continue to live in fear and run from the struggles instead of embracing and conquering them, I'll never see the beauty and joy that is on the other side.
The longer you avoid the depths of life, the more they will start to swallow you whole. I sure can reference struggles and fears that I've overcome in my life, only to look back on them in thankfulness for the person I've become after going through them. I gotta continue to overcome the struggles to become "beautiful and brave".
tl;dr... From struggle comes strength. Flowers grow through dirt. Dragons transform into princesses.