I have long known that I’m not a bad person. In fact, I have friends who tell me that I’m a great bloke, which is nice. So I know that that’s so. However, believing it has long been another matter. Fortunately, even that is starting to change, albeit somewhat late in life. It remains, however, a work in progress as I can feel even as I write this blog. It’s as if accepting it makes me a hostage to fortune. It’s like that childhood game where you avoid walking on the cracks in the pavement because you fear what will happen if you do.
So, how do I know that this change is actually taking place. Well, not easily, I have to say. Yet, I cannot but help acknowledge that it is. It was evident to me when I travelled back from Cardiff on Tuesday evening with a fellow speaker. In the past, I would have done my best to avoid this and found some excuse so that I could travel back on my own. This time I didn’t. Mark was good company and we talked for the whole journey; about public speaking and how to get more gigs but also about our lives and families. I was surprised at how easy it was. When we parted, Mark said how much he’d enjoyed our conversation and I really heard him in a way that I hadn’t heard before. The feeling has stuck with me since and it feels good, if a little unsettling. The boat that I’d always kept under control feels like it’s sailing away under its own steam, with me in it, and that’s a bit scary. There is, though, no turning back. After all, it’s far better to tackle that big ocean that is life than to stay in control of your own small world. If, though, you hear a male voice shouting in the darkness, please shout encouragingly back at him. He’d like to know that you’re out there too.
Perhaps knowing and believing can be the same thing after all.