So I'm going to put them in writing this time, hoping that will help me keep them in mind. Y'all feel free to remind me, too.
- Give without expectation. If you give love freely, or do things for others freely, without expecting anything in return (this is the hard part for me), the love will come back to you. People will choose to do things for you. CHOOSE, instead of being expected to, which is different and vastly better.
- Do the work first, and inspiration will follow. This is really just a different version of butt-in-chair, but it is SO easy to get frustrated when writing or life isn't going the way you want it to, and want to give up because it isn't coming. I realized this one again yesterday when (whew) I had a big plot revelation for SSP...after banging my head against a wall for 11,000 words. Yes, I start with ideas, but the story doesn't coalesce until I put the hard work in. Often I struggle to scrape the words together for my daily goal, only to find that at the end of the session words come, I get into the flow, and I go over my word count. You have to go through the hard part.
- Things happen for a reason. I know. This is an old saw, and can seem pretty flat when the world is falling apart around you. But it's true.
Example: I had some pretty miserable school experiences. I mean bad. At one point in 5th grade there was an "I hate Susan club", and many of my classmates were members. Yeah. Because I went through all that a little part of my psyche is still there, still dealing with social struggles and rejection.
Unforeseen Result: Now I write YA. I couldn't, if I hadn't suffered then. I understand what that place is like.
Example: Both my husband and I were laid off within 3 months of each other. We had a 6-month-old child, we had no income besides Social Security, and the economy was tight in our industries, so we had trouble finding jobs (sound familiar?).
Unforeseen Result: Instead of having our child in daycare, I was able to stay home with her for a year. Then I got a really good job in Montana, in a small town, and my husband stayed home with her for another year, until she was ready to start at a fabulous preschool that she loves. My mom moved here a year later (from somewhere else), and now Child is able to have a close relationship with her grandparents that she would not have otherwise had. It worked out in a way I never would have guessed 6 years ago.
I am NOT saying change is easy, or work is easy, or giving of yourself is easy. None of it is. It's freaking hard, and that's why I keep forgetting these lessons. (over and over and...) But I welcome the moments when I realize them again, and feel that surge of YES.