The Path of Courage
If you read my previous post called ‘Unfollow Fear’ https://christinepaddock.com/unfollow-fear/, I talked about my journey of choosing to do the opposite of what fear tells me to do. Finding the path of courage is a lifelong journey, but looking back I can see a recurring theme: There is no courage without vulnerability.
Self-Consciousness is the Opposite of Love
I once heard a quote that was life-changing for me, though I don’t remember who said it: “Self-consciousness is the opposite of love”. Growing up as a very self-conscious person, I had never considered that I was being unloving. I was always battling a desire to express myself, always feeling like I talk too much, that I needed to be quieter and listen more. It’s true that my need to be heard can often outweigh my ability to listen – there is always room to grow. But I hadn’t considered that holding back from sharing what’s inside of me was actually not living a life of love.
For so many years, I believed a lie that ‘putting myself out there’, particularly in my songwriting, would be prideful or arrogant. I was afraid that to express myself would be ‘showing off’ and trying to get attention. I was able to embrace my creative gifts only as long as they remained hidden.
Art is Vulnerable
This past year, making my hobby of songwriting public has been extremely vulnerable. (see my music page here: https://christinepaddock.com/tour/ ). Songs, or any art form, are an expression of the deepest parts of the soul. I have not had the courage to call myself an artist or a songwriter until Covid hit, and those ‘titles’ still make me squirm. It was safer to call those things a hobby and downplay them. After all, there are tons of people who are way more skilled as artists than I am. But I have come to the conclusion that this thinking is very wrong. My mission is to live a life of love. I have a responsibility to use the gifts I have been given. It’s not about how talented I am. Love means offering all I have, even if it seems small in the world’s eyes.
Love means choosing to be vulnerable.
You have gifts too. Every person is filled with infinite potential, if we will unfollow fear and choose the path of courage: vulnerability. What dream or desire have you been too afraid to pursue? How have you downplayed what is inside of you because of fear? When is the last time you have taken an emotional risk with someone, and chosen to be vulnerable? Let’s make it our mission to offer our hearts and our gifts to the world without holding back.