Thursday, June 25, 2015

Breathe {Denver Photographer and Storyteller}

What have you stopped doing, even though you know it brings you life?  Why have you stopped practicing that thing that feeds your soul?  I can come up with all sorts of excuses - time, a list of to-do's that is already too long, kids who need me, needing to put out fires in other areas of life.  However, the truth for me is that I've been both afraid and discouraged to do that thing I love. 

 See...writing fills my soul, but I've been afraid of the responses I might get to my thoughts.  We live in a time where everyone seems to react to every opinion out there...often with intense and strong language that further divides and doesn't lead to any sort of dialogue.  That has scared me.  It has also frightened me that I know there is always a part of a story I do not know, so any attempt to tell it always falls short of reality. 

But I've also been discouraged.  My internal dialogue is to say "who am I to do ___________?" and "There are so many other talented people already doing ___________."  Honestly, it's discouraged me in both photography and writing, forcing me to wrestle with some deep heart motives.  I think, if I were honest, I want to be original, but deep down know that I'm not.  Especially when I compare myself (or my photography or my writing) to others.  Then I find myself stuck.  Discouragement sets in and I don't even want to start.

Those things that feed our soul, however, do not die quietly.  They rise up in us at the strangest hour - usually awakening us in the dark, reminding us when our defenses are down what real life looks like .  I know I've needed to write and it's called to me, but I've felt paralyzed, locked and trapped,  not knowing how to start again.  Yesterday, some words blew into my heart, like fresh air to a person trapped in a box, caught in the staleness of her own exhalations.

I want to be original, but to chase originality means I will be chasing the wind.  And it means I will be chasing something other than what really feeds my soul. Telling a story  (in photographs and words) feeds me....if it ends up being original then great; if not, well...then I've still told a story - and my heart is glad.  All I need to do is "try to tell the truth".

So, what have you stopped doing, even though you know it brings you life?  Maybe this summer we could move out of those places of fear or discouragement or "wanting to be original" and move into the wide open spaces of practicing those things that feed our souls....simply for the sake of feeding our souls and nothing else.

(The picture above was taken in Bethlehem, Palestine at the Church of the Nativity.  It is now the wallpaper on my phone so I will read these words numerous times a day.)

No comments: