Week 5: Unexpected Doors
Ay, there was a hiatus on these posts, but they’re back!
In Week 5 of The Artist’s Way, Julia talks about how a creative recovery allows us to “pry ourselves loose from our old self-concepts” and be compassionate with ourselves.
I saw this shift in Morning Pages. When it comes to others, compassion feels natural. When it comes to myself, compassion is nowhere to be seen. I’m drawn like a magnet to the negatives.
Morning pages began as a way to analyze my shortcomings. But complaining about myself day after day grew boring and shortsighted. Over time, the pages have transformed into a place to celebrate my achievements, too. In noting the positive things I do–even if it’s as simple as keeping the kitchen clean–I’m gentler with myself.
Week 5 also talks about dealing with unexpected doors.
When we finally start moving, we “take a few steps in the direction of the dream only to have the universe fling open an unexpected door. One of the central tasks of creative recovery is learning to accept this generosity.”
I was reminded of the struggle I faced when a video I made of a musical performance went viral.
I’d always hoped to work in music but planned to stay behind the scenes. Writing songs for other people, maybe scoring indie films or games. I did not want to be a performing artist.
When this video went viral, an unexpected door opened and I panicked. I wanted to shut it.
I suddenly had an opportunity that could potentially lead me to make a living as a musician, but I had to do exactly what I’d set out to avoid. Performing. It terrified me. I was scared of being judged and discouraged. Of failing and being embarrassed.
I dealt with these feelings as best I could on my own. After 3 years of living in what felt like constant fear, I decided to try therapy.
This changed my life. Therapy helped me pinpoint the exact reasons why I was afraid, and showed me how to walk through this unexpected door anyway.
I love being able to give this concept a visual image. To have these opportunities take the shape of a simple, ordinary door and not some vague evil What-If black hole waiting to swallow us.
I was quickly able to identify other “doors” that have been opened right before me. Some I walked through, others I shied away from (and I regret it).
Hopefully, I’ll now be able to identify unexpected doors in the future… not as dangers… but as open opportunities to grow.
Thanks for reading,