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July 16, 2018

Why I Do Not Write for Elephant Journal—and Why You Should.

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A letter from myself.

Dear Self,

You are you, and I am me—and yet, we both are the same in our fear of letting go. A version of you, I, insecure, hold you back, and you, sprouting with new confidence, pull forward still holding my hand, not yet prepared to untangle from my grip.

I see you—your mental mouse hovering over that submit button in hesitation. I have long been effective in keeping you leashed to this routine existence, and I’ve noticed lately that you are on the verge of something that excites you and makes me quite uncomfortable.

I dread your power. Your words, you have been told, are interesting, important, and valuable. And yet I remain in doubt. This is why I do not write for Elephant Journal.

You were raised this and have now become that or the other thing, and you find yourself in a space of in-between—you see from both sides (that phrase you hate to use since Trump made it bad). Your family will dislike that you spoke disapprovingly of Trump; friends and readers will scoff when, one day, you argue that some sense could be found in what some other (actual) conservative said.

This is why I do not write for Elephant Journal.

I cannot allow myself to pour out in writing my heart’s concerns or mind’s contents—to publicly stumble through growth. How uncomfortable. How vulnerable. How many passionate dialogues and “public comment schoolings” could lead to new thoughts, new human connections, or more heartbreaking realizations of things I’ve done not wrong, exactly, but uninformed or carelessly?

Still, you think, you should write for Elephant Journal. Yes, you say, that is what I want.

I beg you, listen. Please step back from the ledge. You have been exposed in published blogs and social media posts with all the tags—so many tags—and yet, time after time, not even those closest to you read. You still are not the cool kid, a babe of the blogging world, an Instagram influencer. You are boring and not relatable—a grabber of insufficient likes. The editors will say no. They will reject you from the tribe. Repeat after me: this is why I do not write for Elephant Journal.

Ah, I have spent my lifetime thinking this way for us—undermining your value and sense of worth so that when told no, we do not have so far to fall, and have fewer bruises to mend.

But, you are you, and I am me—and perhaps we are no longer the same in our fear of letting go. A version of you, I, insecure, hold you back, while you, sprouting with new confidence, pull forward, unhinging my grip. We are faced, here, now, together on this page, and you have followed these lines in a search for yourself. Think for a moment on this question: who have you found?

You have been told by your heart that your words are interesting, important, and valuable. But still, I doubt. Do you hear me? I cannot but whisper as your voice begins to build. This is why I do not write for Elephant Journal.

I am smothered by the sulfur stricken in your soul. I can feel you flicker, certain, ascending as I fall. You will speak fire to the lessons of your lot for the good of those who choose to benefit from your light. This is why you should write for Elephant Journal.

Friends and supposed enemies, strangers, visions of the past and present reflect in you—reflect in you and refract. There are so many paradigms to connect when no longer holding internal space for fear in a terror-filled external world. This is why you should write for Elephant Journal.

“Tant que je peux je t’éclaire
Ouvre les yeux
Il y’a tant de choses à faire
Puisque tout est éphémère
On peut faire mieux
Pas le moment de se taire
La vie c’est gratuit, ça va sans dire
Tu devrais te resservir
Tant qu’on éclaire on espère

Translation:

So much I can illuminate
Open your eyes
There is much to do
As all is short-lived
One can improve
[This is] not the moment for silence
Life, it is free, it goes without saying
But you need to serve again
For as we shine, so we hope.” ~ Celine Dion “l’Etoile”

Because you desire it; because you’re good enough; because you have something to say. This is why you should write for Elephant Journal.

~

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