It can be agonizing to share what is deepest within you but then be met by apathy or rejection. For me, this struggle has often unfolded in the arenas of art and writing. I spent six years writing my first book, and, like many artists looking to find a home for their beloved project, found myself in the desert of unknowing as I queried agents and publishers. Staying disciplined for over a half-decade was difficult enough. The fruits of that discipline hinging upon the opinions of others was excruciating.
The tension in the creative life—which is not necessarily the life of an artist, but any life that is motivated by soul or spirit, by love, by depth—is that such a way of living is often inspired by obscurity or other-worldliness. Inner freedom can abound in this infinite space, but it’s also the area where someone might experience the most resistance, tempted to judge himself or herself through the lens of worldly results, and is therefore where one can feel most isolated and alone, tempted to believe the lies of the false self. Lies like, “You’re crazy” or “You’re not good enough” or “You’re on the wrong path” or “You don’t belong....”