In certain light the shadow gets bigger, more menacing, and I'm afraid to turn around and see how far it stretches behind me. It can cast shade on all sorts of things: my writing, my body, my relationships, my dreams.
Sometimes I'm able to talk myself out of letting this shadow, that's coloured with doubt and the memories of past experiences, get to me. I'm able to beat it back until it's small and grey and insignificant, but not always. There are days when the shadow wins. It swallows all my confidence and pride and leaves me questioning everything that I appreciate in my life. On days like that I want to turn off the light; shadows can't be seen in the dark.
I hate doing that though because it's challenging to get things done in the dark and, like it or not, I always have things to take care of. I often turn to that line in Baz Luhrumann's Everybody's Free (to Wear Sunscreen) that says "remember the compliments you receive. Forget the insults." That phrase acts like a nightlight to me when the room goes dark. I think back and find the best things people have said to me and use them to create so much light that it makes the shadow seem small again.
Today, however, I tried something different. In a moment of self-doubt, when questions flooded my mind and the shadow started to grow, I decided to embrace my insecurity. I didn't try and fight it, instead I felt it take over and thought "this is how you feel right now. Acknowledge it." I decided to see my insecurity as a strength - it demonstrates how much I care, it helps me relate to others, it means I'm human.
I'm going to keep reminding myself that I'm only human.