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

A Blessing

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 “Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you.”

~2 Thessalonians 3:16

Love to all my blog readers; I appreciate you all so much.  When I first started this blog a few years ago, I wasn’t sure how long I would keep it up.  But it has been such a blessing to me in my life, and the comments and encouragement from all of you have helped me through a lot of challenging days.  So….big love and hugs to you across our computer screens.  🙂  Love, Lisa

2014 – A Very Good Year!

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 5,600 times in 2014. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 5 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.