Express or Impress?

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As a recovering lifelong people pleaser, I have always had a great need to impress others. I attempted to gain approval and love and attention by means of good behavior or well-played music or a good grade. One of the great freedoms and releases of my life was after becoming a born-again Christian. I realized that Jesus loves me unconditionally, not based on what I have done or not done. He loves me simply because I am His.

Now that I am writing more, I find myself grappling with my old struggle with pleasing. Or to phrase it differently, impressing. Impressing my blog readers with a clever or especially inspirational blog. Impressing some future publisher with the novel that I’m working on currently. Impressing my family with how hard I’m working on my writing. On and on and on.

Any form of art, whether it be writing, music, drama, dance, etc., requires honesty, truth, and expression. Expressing the truth of what I’m thinking and feeling is sometimes difficult. What will my family and friends think? What will my fellow church members think of this character? What will the readers think when I leave my normal pattern to explore a different line of expression? And then, as soon as these dangerous questions arise, you are stuck. Paralyzed. Trapped in the sad and useless web of people pleasing.

Expression or impression? I am striving, with God’s help, for more of the former. Because we all struggle with the same struggles, more or less. My weaknesses, struggles, honesty, and truths are undoubtedly someone else’s also. No one is encouraged by a perfect person with no foibles. I am the most encouraged by seeing a person who struggles, falls sometimes, but by the grace of God, gets back up again and keeps going.

I want to write to express what is churning inside me. Words and thoughts and feelings.

Write your life well and true, fellow artists. Love, Lisa

Voice

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As a writer, I have two voices. The one that is my best or aspirational self, the one that tries to encourage and uplift. But I also have another writing voice. My brutally honest, venting, cathartic voice, that doesn’t hide the difficulties of life. Outside of this blog, this is the one I have been needing to use lately in my writing.

I have been struggling to write, because these two voices are fighting. Trying to find my real voice, while not being a Debbie Downer, is a challenge. Because writing, or art, or music, is nothing if it is not honest. But all of us, including me, need to be encouraged and lifted up with words, not dragged down.

Where is the truth and honesty and cohesiveness in all this? I think by acknowledging that we are complex creatures created by God to have many different emotions. Happy, sad, confused, excited, angry, hopeful, distant, loving. We have good days, bad days.

So here it is today….just words that are grasping for honesty. Words that are saying that I don’t know all the answers to anything, but I know the God who does. Words that are attempting to lift up someone else who is struggling to stay positive during all this mess, just by stating something that maybe they are feeling.

Truth. Honesty. There is beauty in that, even if it is hard beauty.

Love, Lisa

Just Give It Time

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I am choosing to share this hilariously bad photograph of myself standing in an abandoned church during a downpour in Cong, Ireland. Why? Because I think a lot of us are feeling like this lately. Fed up, wet, miserable, sick of whatever it is we are going through at the time. And my lovely husband thankfully caught one of those moments on camera. 🙂

This is the same day, the same me, just about 10 minutes later.

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Amazingly, the day had turned around. I was in a warm, dry cafe with the smell of fresh bread and soup wafting from the kitchen. We had just seen the John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara Quiet Man statue on our way into the cafe. And I was glad we were there, in Ireland, in the rain.

We sometimes just need to wait a few moments, or a few days, or a few months. Just give it time. This too shall pass.

Love, Lisa

Cleansing Wind

Biking wildly down the road, wind on your face, worries behind

Standing at the turbulent shore, waves crashing, wind howling

Skate edges find ice, flying easily, cold fresh wind on your face

Holding on to balance atop a tall mountain, wind buffeting, mind cleared

The cleansing wind

c 2020 Lisa Lyons

Writing When I Don’t Want To

Sometimes I feel just like this tree.  Stoic and strong. But I begin to wonder if the tree could think, if he would sometimes feel blah, uninspired, boring in his sameness.  But then just when you think the tree doesn’t change, it begins.  The green leaves turn yellow, orange, red, brown.  The wind moves the branches to and fro, changing the silhouette on the horizon.  The tree is inspired, inspiring, moving, changing, new.

When I don’t feel like writing, it is usually because I feel blah, uninspired, the same old Lisa, the same old day.  But God is always doing something new in me.  Even if I am unaware sometimes, he is making me slowly into the image of His Son.  My leaves are turning, the Spirit wind is blowing me in different directions.  

Sometimes just doing something, even if I don’t feel like it, is a good thing.  I feel better since I wrote this, and I’m not even sure why.  I guess I’m just reminding myself that God is always at work, things are not as static as I feel they are, and that moving into action can keep me propelled in that direction.

Thanks for listening to the rambling writer.  

Love, Lisa