As Long As We Are Afraid of Being the Tree That Falls In the Forest That No One Ever Hears, We Will Never Make a Sound
It is day 30 of my daily self comittment to write each day for 15 minutes. I promised myself I would do this until the end of the year—and it is now a new year—so technically my comittment has come to an end.
I am currently listening to Late Night Vibes on Spotify and feeling at home in a strange place. Is this what being comfortable in our own skin feels like?
If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? That is how I feel about the end of my self comittment to write each day for 15 minutes. I am not sure that it really matters to anyone, other than me (the tree) that I go on or do not go on. This is the vulnerability of creating—or really anything I suppose. Wondering if anyone even cares that we are here—wondering that if we fall, will someone notice the sound and come running to see if we are okay.
I thought about this a lot on my hike with Billy today. I realized that by choosing to hike alone with my dog it could be that I would fall and hurt myself and maybe it would be days before anyone noticed. I had these flashes of imagery of Billy seeing that I was hurt and then running for help and coming back with a search and rescue team. And then I flashed back to reality and sent my cousin, who was coming to meet us later, a drop pin of my location so she could actually send a search and rescue if something were to happen.
Obviously, we are doing just fine! We made it down the mountain. We aren’t sure we want to go back. We like it here. We like that the world is bigger than us, that the river sings us songs and that the air welcomes us with her moderate temperatures. I looked to see what companies were around as we drove the windy roads to the trail this morning. I saw a B&B for sale and wondered what kind of loan I would need to purchase it and turn it around into a destination people flew miles and miles to see. My family could come and stay for free, there is a golf course around the corner and I feel like it would be a success. I just decided this driving the windy roads up the mountain. This is what mountains do for us.
Then I wonder if I would become bored. Would the mountain become boring? Would I crave the hustle and bustle of the modern world? Would I need to be more stimulated, more connected and validated by society? Or would mountain life serve me well? I do not know the answer, yet. I think we will see what another day in the mountains teaches us.
I wonder now, as I head off to bed, how many of us aren’t creating because we are afraid our creations will go out into the world and not be noticed by a single person? How many of us are so afraid we will be the tree falling in the forest that we just stand there, still, silent, motionless? How many of us are so afraid of not being accepted or loved that we choose not to love at all?
Imposter syndrome. The idea that we are frauds. The fear of being found out. Let’s call these the big three. Which one, if not all of the big three, is keeping you from yourself? From the things you dream about when you lie awake at night? From leaping boldly, from clicking publish, from asking for help? From showing the F up for yourself?
We cannot courageously create until we clean house. As long as we are afraid of being the tree that falls in the forest that no one ever hears, we will never make a sound. And what is fear? Your inability to understand the inner workings of your mind. There is nothing else between you and creation—there is only you. What does it cost me to write each day? Honestly? Nothing. You could say time, but since my time is currency and I decide how to spend it—this costs me nothing. It is the cheapest form of self expression and self love that I have found. Even my at-home yoga app costs me $20.
Listening to the radio today I heard a woman talking about the power of story. She put it very simply and said, “Stories let us know that we are not alone.”
Do you think you are the only one afraid? Do you think you are the only one worried you will be “found out”? That one day everyone is going to wake up and say, wait a minute—what happened here? We thought you were (fill in the blank). You are most certainly not the only one with this fear. You are certainly not the only one worried about whether you making a sound matters to anyone.
The difference between you and me? I decided that if no one notices I will do it anyway. That is the gift of self comittment. It’s concerning yourself with well, yourself. It is saying this thing matters, because it matters to me.
If I help one person today, then I have lived. That is my code, my mission, my call to arms. If you choose to clean house—to become the master of your own brain—to train yourself to love yourself enough, loud enough and boldly enough that you take a step toward the life you dream of—then I have done my job.
To a year of possibility. To falling in the forest and not caring if we actually make a sound, and to love—may we attract more of it by boldly being ourselves.