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