June 16, 2011 by Heather Harris
Recently, it seems like I have been reading a lot of blog posts outlining and refuting all the excuses people use for not writing. Of course, I can identify with all of them, as I’m sure most creative types can, considering the same excuses can be used for not doing any type of art form or creative activity. But anyway, it got me thinking about why I need any type of excuse not to do something that I love…and the reason is, I’m afraid.
I’ve always prided myself on being real with people, but the truth is, I’m not even real with myself. I have this ideal image that I wish I fit into, and I try to be true to that. But in the end, I cheat myself out of just being who and what I really am. I tend to only create when I am feeling the closest to my ideal of myself because that’s when I feel the best about sharing parts of myself with the world.
Lately, God has been screaming at me to stop hiding. My joys, my sorrows, the sins I’ve struggled with and still struggle with, they are all things that I can use to bless others, to let them know they’re not alone. But I keep my dark side to myself. I’m too scared of being judged, ostracized, rejected, but the truth is everyone else is too. It takes courage to be an artist. It takes courage to create.
Lately, every time I feel creative, there’s this wall I have to break through in order to do anything with that energy building up inside of me. It’s frustrating, and no matter how I go at it, I just can’t seem to blow past it. It’s this image, the expectations I have of myself; they fence me in, close me out, until I feel like screaming in utter bewilderment. Instead of beating my head against a wall, what I need to do is let go and be a part of the space that surrounds me where I am. That’s where my creativity thrives, and that’s where grace abounds.
I need to get rid of this notion that I can only create when I’ve got it all together. It’s great to have certain expectations and goals for myself, but that doesn’t mean that I’m not somebody valid without them. God doesn’t just love me when I’m doing everything right. He loved me while I was still a sinner, still a disastrous mess of a human being. He loves me even though I’m a work in progress, even though I fail Him time after time.
Creating is my act of worship. It shouldn’t just be in the good times or the got-it-all-together times. It should be everyday of my life, no matter how I’m feeling, no matter what I think I should or shouldn’t be. Just me, pouring my real self out at the feet of God.