Ann: I woke up hearing these words. Richard?
Richard: Yes, good morning, Madame, I would be delighted to expand upon the sentiment though it may not be as clear cut as you had hoped.
Firing the editor has a wonderful feel of liberation, does it not? A real rallying cry! Get rid of those pesky quibblers who exist to throw a monkey wrench in whatever it is you want to do. Little voices of gloom and doom tossing caveats here, there, and everywhere until you are so tied up in knots that you can hardly move. They are real party poopers who nag at you until you either give up the ghost or eke out a tiny fraction of your original plan, by now largely forgotten in the throes of insidious censorship. It’s rather like being nibbled to death by ducks. And although I salute your joyous plan to banish said ducks off to some more suitable locale, the trick, love, is to know what kind of editors you are dealing with before you come to such a drastic decision.
Are they those long buried voices form family, teachers, and friends who pushed you down, even to the point of invisibility, because your idea of life, work, and love did not mesh with their own? Or are they kind and insistent murmurs that remind you who you are and help you to excavate what they now call your authentic self?
(By the bye, I really hate that term. It’s like “proactive,” both produced by those over enthusiastic sorts who have to put every adjective – and there are usually many - in italics.)
But I digress. What I meant to bring to your attention is that discernment is needed to identify to source of the little nudges that rain down upon us daily. Are they the niggling doubters destined to keep us in a box or little inquiries that expand our horizons and our solid self?
The self is not the enemy. We need a strong and healthy self with its feet on the ground and its eyes on the stars. Balance is everything, neither over-glorifying our perceived abilities nor denigrating our souls with over attention to our shortcomings. So listen to the former and fire the latter.
I would like to note that everyone has incessant tapes imprinted upon us in childhood, some healthy, others not so much. Mine, among other things, had to do with what it was to be a man. So powerful were these strictures that I considered my profession second rate to the real men in my family who went down the mines.
Sometimes these inbuilt strictures refuse to be fired. Then the best we can do is to identify them, tease them out of hiding, and tell them, “Yes, yes, I know the drill, but for now, please go sit in that corner and bother someone else.” They may never be banished entirely, for we carry our upbringing and our earliest lessons in our DNA, sometimes literally from our parents, sometimes as stored messages that we are charged to address in a particular lifetime.
We must be discerning employers who fire the sluggards and the naysayers, elevate the angels, and convert the recalcitrants into sentries at our gates who warn us when enemies approach. It is nothing less than the balancing act of the human condition, and it’s not an easy task. Ask your angels and guides for help. They too know the drill.
June 18, 2020
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