Do you feel anxious when you hear Thoreau’s words?

How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live. – Henry David Thoreau, author

I’m a member of a closed writers group and one member posted this quote, to which the response struck various tones within people. Their responses varied from “Powerful” to more defensive. 

I felt defensive when I first read it and looked deeper to see what was triggering me. When I discovered it, I realized that it was a piece of “old news” in my life, I had dealt with it and could release it. 

This is the response I wrote to the group: 

Is it the quantity of years or the quality? Is it the experiences lived or the lessons learned? Is it the intensity or the gentleness?

We’ve all lived life so we write! If anyone feels defensive about the words above, what’s the trigger?

Seeing an assumption-because we’ve been criticized or people have wrongly assumed things about us? Is it a tone – because others have been harsh with us?

What’s triggering a response? 

For me it was the word “vain”. When I dug a little deeper I realized it connected with my mother telling me I had “pie in the sky” ideas, when I had shared with her some of my realistic dreams about what I wanted to do in my life. 

I have now done those things and learned they came about because of hard work and not from merely dreaming. The dream preceded the work and gave it meaning and motivation!

What naysayers have you had in your past that this quote strikes up an anxious chord?

Breathe! You’ve lived through all of that!! You are here with a purpose! Smile at the thought that you not only survived your life but are going to fulfill your mission to write! Breathe again!

Keep breathing! Keep writing!

How about you? What does this quote trigger? Was it true? Does it serve you or is it time to let it go?

We all have the power to heal from events and words in our pasts! What felt like the truth then no longer needs to be our truth!

Words are thoughts, and we can change our thoughts!


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