A Meeting of Minds
Have you ever come face to face with part of your nature that you aren’t friends with? When that happens how do you respond? It’s uncomfortable coming to grips with your ugly. One of my uglies is that I’m a big scaredy-cat, though I didn’t acknowledge it for a really long time. But if there is something I’ve learned recently it’s that it’s better to face my inner demons head on instead of the alternative. So let’s come to a meeting of minds shall we?
It’s the thing that keeps us stuck. It threatens our every step and tells us the next one will be our last.
But is it really? Will it be your last?
I wrestle a lot with that question and how it applies to the nature of my work which some might label “dark and twisty”. Labels like that come with negative connotations and I think my work is anything but. So while I’m not really a fan, I am coming to terms with it. In my work, I aim to expose the human condition, and in this particular image “fear”, but why? So we can sit and stare at it? Maybe poke it with a stick? Just to clarify, I’m not talking about the kind of fear that saves you from tumbling over the edge of a cliff or that keeps you from getting in the white van with the dude that just offered you a puppy. I’m talking about the fear that keeps you from stepping out of your comfort zone to do what you were created for. That’s the one. He puts on a convincing act of intimidation, but behind all the fanfare, he is actually a small duplicitous mind with a cunning manner.
Fear is a liar.
Here’s the deal. Everytime I create or write something really vulnerable, fear starts talking. He makes a very convincing case that this will be the one that crosses the line.
“You’ve gone too far this time.”
“They’ll surely reject you, turn back!”
“No one needs to see this. You’re the only one who wrestles with that”
“Don’t embarrass yourself”
...and too many other lies to tell.
He actually makes my room spin sideways ever time I click the submit button. Errrytime.
Each time I post, I have to sit back and find my breath again. It feels like staring down the barrel of a gun in a game of roulette and praying this won’t be the one that fires. His intimidation game is strong, but it turns out that when you force him into the light of day, you get a clearer look at what you’re dealing with. And when you get to the thing that’s behind him...well, guess what? It’s magical.
Here’s the truth...when others reciprocate my story it’s confirmation. It’s proof that you and I in this together, though fear would tell you otherwise. But this year has been all about finding the courage to walk in freedom. Freedom to explore the deep place, bring light to the dark place, and connect with the people I find along the way. It’s about embracing the imperfect and how it relates to my faith, seeking truth in the hard questions, and doing it scared. Each piece I create represents a little part of my story and perhaps reflects a part of yours. Don’t run from it. Make a choice to face the ugly part of your nature and call a meeting for the purpose of a break up. Stare it down. Push back. Because just on the other side is freedom to fulfill the thing you were made for. And it is magical!