Facing What I Fear the Most: Why Write?
I’m at a seminar this weekend, a local one that Gabe and I are attending while the kids are riding jet skis and terrorizing grandparents at the lake.
It’s a business seminar, and, while I’m not in business per se, I still glean a lot of self-awareness from these sorts of things.
One of the big questions I had to spend time on yesterday was…what am I afraid of?
Or, conversely, what do I crave most?
I already know the answer, and admitting it to you puts me immediately outside my comfort zone.
I’m a people-pleaser. An approval junkie. I’m a crack-head for compliments (and comments).
I had a boss once, a long time ago, that told me that I needed to figure out what motivated me the most. Was it money? Acclaim? Recognition? I realized then that I would even work for free if given a bit of praise now and then. Tell me I’m a good girl and I will do whatever you want. Pat me on the head like the puppy that I am. Polly Perfect People Pleaser: will work for praise.
The problem comes when I write for praise. When I write what I think people want to hear, rather than what is on my heart to speak. I spend too much time trying to come up with witty posts and pithy phrases to delight and entrance my (limited) audience, and I find that the words have all dried up.
I didn’t start out this way. I started writing because I just couldn’t NOT write. I wrote out of compulsion, a spigot of words that wouldn’t shut off. Of late, I’ve been befuddled by my lack of insight, my dearth of words.
What I wanted was your approval, and all I gave you was my dross.
The thing is, friends, there’s really only one kind of approval I need. I may want yours, but what I need, what I really need, is His.
Back to the first question – what am I most afraid of? That’ people won’t like me.
That if I write what He wants, you won’t read it.
That if I speak from the heart, you’ll turn away.
But it’s funny. When you are forced to really sit back and chew on your fears for a while, they get smaller. When you write them down on paper, and then tell your neighbor on your left – a total stranger – they aren’t so big. When you reach down deep inside of yourself and look fear in the eye, you find that fear’s a coward. It doesn’t stand up to scrutiny.
It can’t stand up to hope.
It runs in the face of gratitude.
When I step back and look at my life and all that I’ve been given, all that i have learned, I cannot be silent. I cannot be afraid.
If you still like what you’re reading, then give praise where praise is due. Give it to Him.