I don’t know about you guys, but lately I have been quite aware of my heart and the fact that I was crafted and designed as a spiritual and soulful being. I have been more than aware of what makes me cry. I have taken notice of the things that fill me with rage and how my feelings get injured (if you know me, you know I can get loud and vocal about my personal feelings = anger)
— But more than anything, I have been conscience of the things that move
me, the things that touch my soul.
Last night, after a soothing warm bath, I lit some candles and wiggled my toes deep into the comfy (and colorful) blankets across my bed. I had a journal and pen in hand with classical music playing in the background (yes, classical music… can you say nerd alert?) It was difficult for me to STOP my day and put the emergency brakes on my ‘go-go-go’ attitude. I listened to the music around me. I absorbed the music. I felt the softness of my blankets. I soaked in the moment. Breathing. I was in the present, the now.
With every breath, I begin to notice the other sounds trickling in from the other room. How could I not? They were loud sounds and overpowering sounds – the voices of my husband and daughter – my loud family (and yes, I am part of that ultra loud family). They were in the living room playing together, goofing off and being silly. My husband was dragging my daughter across the floor on her favorite blanket (kind of like a train ride) and they were laughing. They were enjoying one another, being active. And, of course, here I am locked in my room attempting to soak in the sounds of the deep cello ministering to my heart. Trying to reflect on life. Attempting to write and read. I couldn’t be more different than those two. Why am I so different? Why do I march to a different drum? Why do colors, and music, and ambient lighting inspire me? Why does it go into the ‘deep of me’ and draw out hidden waters?
And that is when it hit me… because I am an Artist.
I know it must seem ridiculous, but I have a hard time classifying myself as an “ARTIST” – because in my mind artists are hippies and they paint, write poems, smoke cigarettes and hang out at coffee shops. Me? I am not like that therefore I must not be an artist, or at least a REAL artist. In my mind, I am just a girl that adores bold complimentary colors in her home and really enjoys capturing moments, nature, and beauty on film (like the image above). What is so super crazy ‘artist’ about that?
Most of the time, I feel extremely average (I think a lot of us do) and more than anything I just want someone to tell me that I am special. So in my quest for affirmation I keep busy, working and striving, attempting to pour ‘something of substance’ into this empty, gapping hole at the core of me – my heart. I keep myself so busy trying to fill it up with things like – the drive for success, my art and love for photography, striving and comparing, and the approval of humanity. I tend to keep myself so consistently busy that I ignore the cries and soft whimpers within my soul. The emptiness only continues to rage because I am not filling the hole inside of me with the water that it longs for (kind of like an unquenchable thirst, that is not satisfied with coffee).
It actually takes time, more work (what? more work? UGH!) and continued effort – to quiet down the external (and internal) noise, get rid of the distractions, light a candle, look within and look to God. Your true significance will come from Him, not from others.
Dig into the deep… Who are you really? What god do you serve? Are you more in love with yourself, or are you in love with Christ? Do you love people? Are you obsessed with the mistakes of your past? The fears and failures of your future? — It is so easy to get pulled into past mistakes, or distracted by the big and scary unknown future – but what we need to be doing as a ‘people’ is live in the PRESENT, the now, and cultivate our souls and relationships with others. That is what is important. Loving God and people are the most important thing!
What moves you? What is your purpose in this life?*THIS WEEK: I challenge you, to STOP the noise in your life. Shut down your work, your facebook, and television – cultivate your soul. Take a bath, light a candle, pull out a pen/paper and express your thoughts. Start an inspiration wall. (If you are a photographer, like me) Take a photo that inspires you, not because it is your job. Quiet the noise and find out what the deep waters of your soul want to pour forth.
What personally moves me and touches my soul is acknowledging the presence of God in my life and within other people. I love people, their laughter and tears, the shared pain and JOYS of living life. I want to live a full life! I don’t want to be stuck living in the mistakes of my past, nor 10 minutes ahead in the future. Life is too short to not live it FULLY, in the here and now in this present moment. I want to be grateful for the things I have today, and not be consumed by the desires and wants of tomorrow.