Friday, August 19, 2011

Hide Your Light Under A Bushel (and other sound anti-Biblical advice)

Amazing things happen to me.
Opportunities fall at my feet.

And I, in my perspicacious wisdom, run from them.


Like last week when I received that callback for the commercial--one of only 15 or so women called back for the part--I, in my extreme excitement, proceeded to tell ONE WHOLE PERSON the good news.

Or--like today--when I learn that I am being considered for a sizable prize and, instead of calling my family and friends and beaming about the possibilities of kitties and rainbows, I am going to lock it away in my bosom, never to be uttered to another human being.


It's not necessarily that I am overly humble, nor is it because I am not proud of my accomplishments (though the latter may be true, because, I mean, if I can do it--I who nearly burned down the house in an attempt to microwave a shirt and I who barely escaped arrest over the attempted theft of a "Christ For State Senate" sign--then obviously anyone able to feed themselves without assistance could reach the same goal. I know. Sounds like humility. It ain't. Believe me.) It's not even that I am necessarily afraid to fail, though I will admit that that motivation has previously been true.

No, I have failed. I have faced hardships. I know I can do it again.

So what is this fear of touting any progress about?

Two things:
1. Control.
2. Potential.

As Yoda so sagely spoke, "Control! Control! You must have control!" Hey Jedi Master? Feelin' ya buddy.

I. have. an. addiction. to. control.

Try as I might, I simply cannot wrap my head around the idea that there are things outside of my control--things I am powerless to stop or start or even affect. And therefore, when I am nominated for an award or am recognized in some way or am given an opportunity, I HAVE TO EARN IT. I have to CONTROL it. I have to make it mine.

And if I don't I am an utter failure.


(Sounds healthy, no?)

Somewhere along the line I picked up that human worth is not, in fact, inherent. In my noggin, we as human beings aren't born with entitlements. In other words, "gotta earn that shit!"

So, obviously, if I am given an opportunity, I must therefore prove my worth of it. Not an undaunting challenge...and also why I don't publicize it. After all, if I fail, that proves to be a statement about my overall worth...which leads us to number 2:



As a writer, I have a passion for most words. ('Cecil' is a notable exception. 'Hyper' is another.) But by far my least favorite word in the English language is 'potential.'

This pretentious bastard has the power to make or break you...
And, as someone who lives under a constant fear of being a disappointment, 'potential' is some scary shit.

I know I can write, and in recent months I have seen countless numbers of my ideas being parlayed into subpar texts or movies simply because I did not have the fucking stones to follow through on my ideas.

But such follow through takes a certain amount of delusional narcissism, a certain pretentious arrogance that, try as I might, I simply cannot seem to foster. I discovered at quite an early age that the world does not revolve around me. And my smarts? Well, I think the most that can be said for them is that I am smart enough to realize just how stupid I am.

And then I go bury my head in the sand like the proverbial ostrich as some other schmuck takes my idea, crafts it into an imperfect (but still concrete) form, and lives fat and happy on the profits. All the while, I (proverbial ostrich, remember?) am screaming about the injustice of it all, but I know I have no one to blame but myself. (Not that it matters. No one can hear me with my head underground anyhow.)

And speaking of proverbial, this brings me back to my Bible title. Here's the reference, for those of y'all too ignorant to read the Bible or too lazy to Google. (No offense meant. I mean, really? Are you gonna get all up in arms over the comments of an ostrich?)

"Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house."Matthew 5:15

My light is under the bushel. And, as fire needs oxygen to thrive, I am sure my light is going to go out any day now. When it does, I will have no one to blame but myself...

Christianity's core belief centers on grace. The almighty grace of a loving God who sees his children as having inherent worth. As being heirs to His throne. Royalty.

It is a concept I can neither accept nor understand.

I have never held inherent worth.
I do not understand the gift of grace.
And I haven't the wardrobe for royalty.

So when my light burns out, maybe He can explain it all to me. Until then, He is in complete control, and I have nothing but this blasted potential!

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