I love you.

Photo by  Mayur Gala  on  Unsplash

Photo by Mayur Gala on Unsplash

Hi. I want you to know something.

I love you.

I really do. Even if we've never actually met in person and you literally have no idea who I am or how you got to this page. Even if you, like, kinda think that I hate you (why would you think that? I don't hate you. Talk to me).

I love you because I know that you're trying. One of the Pixar rules of storytelling is that we love a hero more for trying than succeeding. Do you ever feel like this rule doesn't apply in real life? Like people only care about results? Fuck that. I love you for trying.

Trying is one of the hardest things a human can do. Fuck Yoda; there is ONLY try. "Trying" means there's the possibility of the thing not happening. "Trying" means uncertainty.

And our brains FUCKING HATE UNCERTAINTY. Our brains are wired for survival - survival above joy, connection, or success. And uncertainty means danger. A threat to survival.

We experience emotional pain the same way we experience physical pain - it's the same damn part of the brain. And the physical symptoms for shame are the same as the physical symptoms for, like, being in the same room as a bear. Your brain wants to shield you from shame the same way it wants to shield you from bears.

"Trying" - a.k.a. risking shame - a.k.a. writing that play you're not sure anyone but you will care about, working up the nerve to talk to that cutie, sending in that job application, apologizing to that friend, ending that fraught collaboration, working overtime, going to therapy, talking it out, answering your kids' difficult questions, going to that audition, showing up to life over and over - is basically the neurological equivalent of facing off with bears.

And you do that. And I'm proud of you. And I love you for it.

I love you.

I just wanted you to know that.

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