Friday, September 02, 2011

Sweet Girl, You Are So Much More Than Your Work

This is for you.  Chances are, you need to be reading this right now.

If you have read The Creative Imperative before, you'll know I'm not a writer.  I post lots of pictures to keep your interest and hope you won't notice that I can't write worth a lick.  I'll warn you now:  This is a wordy post with no distractions.  Except that heart above... I had to have one pretty thing for you to look at.

I feel a little like I've been in no man's land ever since I started having kids.  Then it got even worse when I stopped working.  It was an identity crisis of sorts and it has driven me to make things (or think about making things) almost constantly.

I am a "doer" and a "maker".  If I'm not producing I am worthless.  This is what I tell myself over and over until I believe it.  It is a lie.

While I'm at it, here is a bigger lie:  You are only as good as your last piece of work.  I learned this one in art school and it became a sort of black cloud mantra that has followed me around.  What a terrible sentiment, to feel the pressure of needing to be better than you were the day before every day of your life!  Don't get me wrong, growth as a human being is something to strive for.  But we're all going to have bad days; heck, I've even had bad years.  And no one needs that kind of pressure.

When I am still and quiet enough to let the dust settle and hear the Truth being whispered in my ear, this is what becomes clear:  I am a child of God.  I am His.  He delights in my existence and in my worship of Him.  Nothing more.  There is nothing I can do to make Him love me more and I need to be OK with that.

The crazy thing is that this concept could be yelled at me and I still wouldn't hear it... I get that spun up, busy, and out of control when I am in a stage of doing and creating.

I'm making all this noise and nonsense and for what?  It's more than wanting to create beautiful things.  It's so I can get the approval of others.  There, I said it.  Now you know my shadow mission:  It's to make you like me.  I'm worrying that you don't right now and I'll still be worrying about it when I go to sleep tonight.  I might not even know you, but that doesn't make a difference to me.  I just need you to like me and I'm hoping the stuff I do or make will get you to approve of me.

When I see a friend going through their own crisis of purpose, I feel so badly I could cry.  I just want to peel the scales off their eyes so they can see how beautiful they are.  So why can't I believe it for myself?

From what I've seen, this problem runs rampant through the blogging community.  I keep hearing about (and sometimes feeling) this pressure to make, document, keep up, compete.  The more I look for it, the more I find it in everyday life too.  Here is a great post on creativity and competition from a blog also called The Creative Imperative.  You're just going to beat yourself up when you start comparing and very little good can come from that.

Let's make a pact to encourage one another.  Not just for the pretty things we make or the things we do, but for who we are.  As women.  As daughters.  As sisters.

Here is an incredible post on "doing vs. being" from a beautiful woman in every sense of the word.  You've never seen a heart like hers.  Or heard a voice like hers.  Or received a hug like the ones she gives.  Read it here and be inspired.

Are you still with me (even without the pictures or corny sense of humor)?  Let's do this.  Love yourself for who you are.  Other people do and most importantly, God does.  All of my dear friends are people I just like to be near.  I don't hang out with them for what they do or what they make.  And now I need to believe they love me for the same reason.

Blessings,
Jamie

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21 comments:

  1. I've been having one of those days, no months. I needed to see this more than you can imagine! Thanks for sharing.

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  2. jamie i am so with you on this sentiment. we are all worth so much more than we will ever know, and each day is what we make of it, so make the best! easier said than done, i know, as i have been in a bit of a funk myself. but i do agree that comparison is the root of evil and insecurity. i love people who can see good in others projects and lift them up. i do not like when people constantly compete and try to one up.... we are all creative in our own way and it is so much better to appreciate that than to show the world you did a project that was better than so and so's. i have learned that the best person i can compare myself to is .... wait for it.... MYSELF! i can only make me better by focusing on me. i cannot make me better by comparing myself to others and trying to be them. no one else can be me and i can be no one else. let's embrace that. and for the record i think you and the friend you speak of are both beautiful talented, so much fun to be with, and i would want no one else in the world to replace the wonderful yous i have as friends.

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  3. I love you Jamie. I love your honesty and your beauty. I love that you are my friend. You are a wonderful writer, if I keep telling you this you will eventually start to believe it.

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  4. Thank you for the wonderful post. Very frustrating lately with the power outages and not having the ability to "do!" However, I keep reminding myself that I have a great family and that God just wants me to spend more time with them...lots of time. So, the first day I actually worked was yesterday when my little one finally went back to school. But, I am like you. I feel that I have to accomplish something during the day. I am going to put a stop to that (if I can).

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  5. A friend of mine shared this on his fb page. I feel this in my soul. Thank you for your vulnerability. I am a wordsmith and have seen that most people cannot go this deep and be this honest with their process. It is refreshing to be able to share in the journey with someone else. Thank you.

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  6. This post really touched me girl...it has been something that I have been thinking about a lot since I started my new blog. I'm a military wife, and had a military blog before my current one, and it was honestly one of the more discouraging things I think I could have done for myself. I started a military blog to connect with other military spouses but found out really quickly I had very little in common with most military spouses...lol at least those who blog. In any case, that particular blog made me feel like a failure, and I decided that I needed to take a step back and take a good look at where my self-worth comes from.

    Deciding to come back to blogging was tough and scary...but I love it, I love to share my ideas and write, it makes me happy. And as I've moved forward with my new blog, with a new purpose, I've also made the decision within myself that if I am going to do these things, and blog about them,it's going to be because I love it, and not because I'm motivated by anything ( or anyone!) else. It's because I love to create...and because I want to be better, for myself, for my family, and for my Heavenly Father.

    Anyway...long comment! Love your blog...found you through Home savvy! Looking forward to more of your posts!

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  7. Thank you for the encouraging words!

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  8. Jamie -- such a thoughtful post! I must say that since Pinterest came out, my sister ( a blogger) and I have felt a bit inadequate in our doings...so many creative people and their photos...We all need to love our friends and ourselves for who we are. Joni

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  9. Amazing. Just what I need to hear. I think I have gotten so much in my identity as a mommy, wife, and have forgotten about my identity as His child. I need to get back. Thank you...so much.

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  10. Gotten wrapped up so much* Hah - fingers can't keep up with my thoughts, sorry.

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  11. Wow, I really needed to read that today...thank you! I woke up this morning "this" close to deciding to stop blogging...all the comparison and "why doesn't my blog grow as fast as hers?" and "what am I doing wrong?" wears me down! I haven't quite figured out how to get over those thoughts yet, but I sure appreciate reading other bloggers heartfelt thoughts, like yours. Thanks again! :)

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  12. You have no idea, well, no I think you do, of how right on your wonderful writing I just read is. You put into words what I've been struggling with, too, for too long. I've been physically disabled for 5-6 years and able to do less and less. I had to stop my youth ministry work, couldn't do it. So I am an online missionary. I'm trying to do more because it's so depressing looking at all that needs to be done day after day, year after year. And I'll soon be joining the blogging community. You let me know why in what you wrote. Thanks you.
    Janet

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  13. SO blessed to read this. Your authenticity is brave and evidence you do know, deep down, that your value won't change if people don't like your blog post. I struggle also to hear the Truth over the louder, numerous voices of self-condemnation and fear and doubt. Thanks for bringing this to light. I love YOU for YOU, not the stuff you produce. Mwah!

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  14. Just found your blog, visiting from Funky Polkadot Giraffe. Thanks so much for sharing your beautiful blog - this post was just what I needed to hear. Please visit my blog - I'm linking to yours right now. Hugs, Andi at Hotpinkpansy.com

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  15. Brilliant! Thanks for sharing your heart and being real. You rock.

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  16. I just discovered your blog today and I love your amazing posts accompanied by honesty. I have only been blogging since the beginning of the year and I have noticed so many people have gotten to this point. It just reminds me to do it only because I love it and I am having sooo much fun with my kids during the process. Visiting from http://greeneacreshobbyfarm.blogspot.com.

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  17. Well it was only appropriate that you landed on my Ego blog today in order to lead me to this post. Well said!

    Mike

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  18. I really needed that. Thank you so much for sharing! You sounded like you were talking about me, and it sure helped to know that you have bad years too :-) God bless!

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  19. What a beautiful post. I've seen lots of gorgeous things tonight while sitting at my computer—fabulous kitchens and roosters and fabric and decorations. This message was by far the prettiest. Obviously, it came from your heart. I found this blogging community by accident and was eager to join in. Almost instantly, however, I sensed that I could (if not careful) forget that this was supposed to be FUN, purely for my creative spirit and to connect with other women as passionate about home and hearth as I am. Thanks for reminding me is such a lovely way why I'm here.

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  20. Thank you for the wonderful post. As an at home mom with now 2 teenagers, i keep getting asked why I don't "DO" something, ugh. My son has autism my daughter has adhd and well she doesn't think she needs us but she does. Reading your blog help get the nay sayers out of my head.

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