I had a great topic lined up for my newsletter today.
The idea was crisp and clear, and perfect for the moment.
This will be a quickie, I thought.
Famous. Last. Words.
That one idea began to snowball into more ideas.
I tried to keep my focus on simple point, but as I sat down to write, my mind kept spinning the ideas. The more I wrote, the more ideas came.
Until I was trapped in their web.
I talked it out with more than one person. I tried to leave it for a while and return to it. I tried to come back to the point I wanted to make. The harder I tried, the more it eluded me, until I lost connection with the original idea. What was I even trying to say?
I didn’t even know anymore.
On one hand, the ability to take a small nugget of an idea and, in short order, unravel all the nuances of it, connect it to other things, and find practical applications of it, is my brilliance. It’s my superpower.
And, the shadow side of this brilliance is that I can get trapped in the web of my ideas.
I can’t begin to describe how frustrating it is to see your own brilliance and yet feel utterly incapable of articulating your ideas coherently.
The struggle is real.
This isn’t writer’s block. It’s almost the opposite: too much flow. Like I can’t turn the spigot off.
For as long as I can remember, I have tried to force my brain to work a certain way, a way that fits with the mainstream, a way that would help me get recognized for my thought leadership and big ideas.
I have been deeply working on my self-acceptance the last few months, especially around the challenges I have stemming from ADHD.
From the time I was diagnosed with ADHD (almost 20 years ago), and even before that, I thought that if I just worked harder I could overcome the challenges of my neuro-divergent brain.
I didn’t really talk about it much. I didn’t think it was necessary to draw awareness to it. I didn’t want to be defined by it, to be a victim of a brain that doesn’t always work in the normal way. Instead, I continued to work hard, like I always had. I continued to try to fit into ways of working that didn’t work for me.
And then I realized that’s not acceptance. At all. That’s putting it in shadow.
The frustration I feel is resistance, and it’s exhausting. I’m tired of fighting. The fighting drains energy that could go to other things. It creates a tremendous amount of shame. And it doesn’t help me articulate my big ideas with any more coherency.
Freedom Through Acceptance
With Passover approaching, I’ve been thinking a lot about freedom, and how we attain it.
To me, in this moment, it feels like the clearest path to freedom comes from letting go of the fight.
Maybe my calling, at least right now, is not to share the big ideas, but the most simple ideas. Or maybe it’s not to share any ideas at all, but rather to share my experience. Maybe the willingness to stand in the truth of my experience, without any myth of perfection, is my real brilliance
Maybe the ultimate freedom is found through true acceptance of where I am and what is happening in this very moment.
Acceptance doesn’t mean that I must allow my neuro-diversity to define my identity. It means that I embrace this fact about myself — this facet of myself — and learn to work with it rather than against it.
It means that I refuse to allow the shame of it to control my life.
That feels like freedom to me.
I’d love to hear how you find freedom. Hit reply and let me know.