Never Be Ashamed of Anything You Create

Vincent Van Patten

Be proud of whatever comes from your heart

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Photo by Sebastián León Prado on Unsplash

Can’t find a reason why
I find it hard to say goodbye,
To the kid I thought I knew;
A part of me I used to be,
No longer do I try to see,
Myself for anything else.

It’s who I’ve always been,
My spirit, more than kin,
My beating heart, my flame,
Inside I’ll always be the same.

Joyful to connect,
With other people I respect,
My family and friends, and new people too,
Because I know no other way,
Than to get out and portray,
A light, a smile;
The feeling of a drop of rain,
Making you look up,
When it’s easy to look down.

Iwrote this poem a couple of nights ago on a small scratchpad under the orange glow of a streetlamp. I was on a late-night walk when I stopped to watch the traveling lights of cars on the far-away freeway, dimmed by a layer of fog.

I couldn’t help but smile and laugh to myself; I was out being me. When I got home, for some reason I didn’t want to publish the poem. I felt self-conscious. I wrote something else.

Looking at it now, it feels like it wasn’t even me who wrote those words, but my spirit speaking to me through its writing. I didn’t think, I just wrote.

If that came from me when I felt good, authentic, genuine, how can I be ashamed of it? As I typed the words this morning, something ignited within me; I got chills. At the moment, I didn’t think about the words. Looking at them now, I know I wrote them for a reason.

I’m not ashamed of what I write.

I’ve published a new story every day for the last twenty-one days, my most consecutive stories to date. My daily writing challenge has caused me to think about the world and observe with greater attention. Yet, something more essential to my character is taking place.

I don’t have a choice whether or not I’m going to write each day. I know I will. That has caused me to follow my instinct, to write down each thought, each feeling that I have, whether good or bad.

Whatever it is we write, whatever it is we do that comes from our heart, that we create, that we explore, we mustn’t be embarrassed. We’re part of this ever-changing world that needs people who make a difference.

This starts with the desire to create, to share, to be ourselves.

Creation begets creation, and sometimes it takes pouring our hearts on the page to get to the essence of the thoughts we’re pondering. Doing this may lead us to a moment of realization, a new experience, a layer of ourselves that we never knew existed.

This month during my November Writing Challenge, I’ve let go of being timid and what others might think; I strive to write from the heart and be a human being.

Writing has changed the way I live my life. Ideas are only ideas unless acted upon. These stories and concepts I write about mean nothing if I don’t strive to enact them.

I don’t intend to be a perfect being who’s never upset or down — but writing helps me question why these feelings arise. Writing is a practice, just as smiling without thinking is.

It’s something that, with enough effort and time and repetition, becomes natural. To write about living helps me connect with who I am and all that I can be; I’m not ashamed of who I was yesterday; if I made mistakes, I’ll learn all I can from them to move on with greater understanding.

I’m not self-conscious of what I wrote because that was me, and I’m proud of who I am. I will continue to write about my doubts, goals, ambitions, and dreams because even if I don’t reach them, I can visualize my intent and believe this is who you are; stay after it, even if the path is not yet clear.

To impart who we are and what we believe in the universe triggers change, whether we see it immediately or not.

I believe in helping others and being a light that inspires. I don’t believe in settling or listening to others who doubt our dreams. I believe in smiling when they say we’re unrealistic.

I believe in living from a place of joy, curiosity, love. And this is what I’ll continue to work on with the entirety of my being. Without a doubt, some days, moments, and experiences are more challenging than others. We don’t have to be superheroes; just humans trying our best.

We change, we grow, we rearrange. Yet being ashamed of who we are and what we’ve done can only hold us back. Let go of yesterday, be proud today, and just keep living your life.

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My name is Vincent Van Patten. This is my home, a place to share who I am and what lights my soul on fire. I’m a writer, media creator, and co-host of The Dare to Dream Podcast. Most importantly, I’m an inspired citizen of our ever-changing world. I strive to learn all that I can about how we’ve progressed to where we are today as individual cultures and as a planet. It’s my passion to fill every day with exploration and creativity no matter where I am, whether in California crafting my latest project or on my way to discover someplace new. By writing about my experiences, connecting with people and the earth, and remaining present, I always feel at home. I write to express my perspective of daily living, from the thoughts in my head to the relationships we share as human beings. I write about travel, culture, books, life, philosophy, spirituality, health, self-improvement, and history. I also write poetry and short stories  —  doing so soothes the soul. I believe we’re here to challenge ourselves by questioning all we think we know. When we do, we open our minds to a way of living we could never have imagined. This life is a journey with no finish line in sight. I hope to leave a positive impact with every step I take.

Del Mar, CA
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