Unpolished gems unearthed from spelunking expeditions through my mind.

Posts tagged “Challenge

Value and worth are subjective currency

So, I have been struggling with writer’s block for about a week. The irony here is that I have quite a few (well, 11 to be exact) posts sitting collecting dust here in the untamed brilliant nest. It’s getting crowded. And I’m feeling, well, like my value as a writer is a bit compromised because I cannot quite finish any of them. They all started quite brilliantly (if I do say so myself), but then stall out as I hear the question of their worth (or lack thereof) to a reader run laps around my brain.

Meanwhile, life has dealt a few extra cards my direction that have caused me to fold, to pull out of the game and collect my thoughts, hoping for a new deck before I can gamble a seat at the table again. Just not feeling like I have what it takes to play, to compete, to keep up sometimes. What do I really have to offer since so much has been stripped away from me?

And then sometimes gifts arrive — ones you go ask for, and the one that just shows up on your doorstep (or email) unexpectedly, but so much more needed that you even realized until you opened it. Last week friends listened. Today one spoke. She reminded me of a gift I had given her a while ago, that I did not even realize at the time would have such an impact or be worth much more than a fleeting comfort. But more than a year later, it has been re-gifted to me with recognition of its value along with some special brilliance that reminds me why life is always better than it may seem and that while we can always get through anything on our own, it is always better, worth more perhaps, with a friend to hold your hand on the journey. Friendship is one of the most valuable currencies there is.

Here is part of the gift I received today, and I’d like to share because it is so valuable, worth reading several times until it is the ticker tape that encircles any questions of self-worth you may ever have.

Gifts come in many different shapes and values. Love, kindness, forgiveness, and caring (for one’s self as well as others) are gifts that even a pauper can give freely in the present. Value comes from within although the world sometimes conspires to make us believe it is equivalent to money, material things, or the next bauble. Truly believing one’s inner value takes strength and care.

The only gifts that I have for you today (and really everyday) are my love, caring, and sharing one of the most important lessons of my life (look for the beauty and good in the smallest things in life around you). Some days that smallest thing is the best you will get but it is a wonderful reminder of the good and beauty in the world.

And then of course, there is a quote that is very dear to me that I share regularly, words of encouragement from Christopher Robin to Pooh Bear: “Promise me you’ll always remember that you’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”

Brilliant. I may just dust off some of those unfinished bits this weekend.


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Luck Of The Irish

The luck of the Irish indeed. A certain wistfulness occurs for most at the sound of this iconic idiom. History would suggest that the phrase is wrought with irony as the Irish were a spectacularly unlucky race (unless of course existing on a diet of only potatoes for a few decades makes your socks roll up and down). Oh, yes, there was some lucky respite from the spudaciously monotonous menu — impromptu fasting was brought on when there were no potatoes to be found in the fields. Invading conquerors consistently proved to be poor house guests by forcefully occupying the land. Cruelty dished out to the Irish extended across the pond to the United States in the form of ethnic and religious prejudice. My ancestors who came over from Ireland were among many forced to amend their last names — in our case to drop the O from O’Carroll to sound less Irish and blend in with the newly formed melting pot.

So, is being Irish really all that lucky? 

I would argue yes. The tales of torture and woe speak volumes of the enormous resiliency of the Irish — lessons well suited for us all, even today, maybe even especially today since everyone is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day.

There is something innate about being Irish that makes us inherently lucky and able to consistently land on our feet when bad circumstances occur. I have had to call upon my own inner Irish endurance to survive the special hell of the last couple of years. But, just like the Irish, I know I am stronger for the experience — I would even say I am lucky to have had to endure the challenges foist upon me for I know I am better because of them. My priorities have never been more in check and my sense of self is approaching awesome.

While it may be difficult to see in the thick of the hell, next time unpleasant or unhappy circumstances make their way into your world, consider how lucky you might just be. Certainly something to think about on this blessed day of Irish celebration.

Good times, good friends, good health to you — and the luck of the Irish in all that you do.


Ready To Fly

Well, here I am, sitting in my untamed brilliant nest. It’s cozy in here. Do I really need to leave. And by leave, I mean actually POST something for the world to read? Geez, that seems drastic. Can’t I just revel in the success of having set up my blog (mostly) all by myself, kick back and rest my feet on the edge of the nest for a while? Of course I can, and I have been for about a week and a half, telling myself all the while that I’ll get to it right after I _______ (fill in the blank with the stall du jour). What’s the rush? Who is gonna wanna read it anyway (yes, that is the whooshing sound of torrential self-doubt whipping through the trees, threatening to topple my roost to the ground before I ever stand tall on my little birdie legs.

Leaving the nest, WTF am I thinking? What if this crap I pass off as writing doesn’t fly? What if someone laughs, judges, mocks, or even just ignores me? What if I’m not really brilliant? Untamed, that’s not a problem, but brilliant? I have a few friends who have suggested I might have some smarts. Carol tells me all the time that I am one of the smartest people she knows — she went to Duke and MIT, so that’s saying something, right? Chad told me I was funny, told me to write, that I am brilliant. What if he doesn’t know what the hell he’s talking about, that could be awkward, what with the blog title I’ve chosen. Is it too late to amend it to be untamednotquitesureifimbrilliant.com? Probably. Better get my shit together and figure out how to be brilliant. No pressure.

Did I mention I have a fear of flying? My friend Julien wanted to take me skydiving with him, said it would cure me. He told me that when faced with a challenge, face it head on. He was brilliant. I wish he could see me fly here, I think he’d be proud. He might tell me that there are other birds in the trees watching what I am doing, watching me hesitate, waiting to see what I will do. And every time I stall, talk myself out of it, or otherwise doubt my abilities, it gives them a reason to do the same.

So, what if I just take a colossal leap of faith? It’s time for a running start into what comes next. But what if I jump and I fall flat on my face? Well, then I guess I’ll be able to show what it looks like to take a chance, do it wrong, start over, and try again. And, if that inspires another bird to jump, what might that bird accomplish? Possibly something brilliant.