Can I Be Me?: The Conflict of Creative Authenticity

Authenticity. According to Wikipedia, Authenticity-Authentic-Authentication is ‘the act of confirming the truth of an attribute.

Truth, unlike ‘fact,’ is an unchangeable and consistent reality. While an attribute, in its noun form according to Merriam-Webster, is ‘a quality or feature regarded as a characteristic or inherent part of someone or something.

As a creative, a being made in the image of the Master Creator, Yeshua-Jesus, you have the inherent DNA to create. (More on that in The Call to Create.) There are specific, unchangeable attributes about what you have been given to offer to the world, things that are waiting for you to discover and share, that are unique to you and unrivaled by others.

The struggle that we all face in our creative journies is summed up in one phrase; the urge to be a people-pleaser.

It could be in the way you paint, throw a football, run a boardroom, or even how you nurture children in your home or in an educational environment. Whatever it is, it is unique to you.

But, more often than not, the noise of the world around us, the shifting trends of what is acceptable versus what is shunned, tends to not only stifle our creative voices to near silence, but they also whittle away at, and shape our uniqueness into something that can seem like a carbon-copy of things already done or voices already heard.

Although we may find ourselves drowning in a sea of ‘likes’ and ‘shares’ with our contributions flooding the shores of social media when we follow the creative-status-quo, something within us tends to groan with frustration, knowing that the high number of followers isn’t enough. The ‘likes’ no longer give us the buzz we craved.

Maybe you are a person who isn’t even abreast of the ebbs and flows of the social-media world or algorithms, but still, you find yourself inundated with the pressures to ‘be’ what others expect you to do and be, to cook that pasta sauce like Nanna always did it, to give of yourself in a way that is…expected.

The struggle that we all face in our creative journies is summed up in one phrase; the urge to be a people-pleaser.

People pleasing in all arenas, is a venom that destroys the true voice of authenticity. It robs creatives of their God-given seed to flourish as they were meant to, to create in a way that brings Him glory, and them fulfillment.

Pastor Craig Groeschel put it this way,

Living for the approval of people will keep you from living for the purpose of God.”

The book of Proverbs says it like this, “The fear of man brings a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord shall be safe. (Proverbs 29:25).

When we allow our hearts to be moved by our fear of what people around us will accept or the thought they will shout ‘That can’t be done,’ or ‘That is impossible,’ we lose our divine authenticity. We lose the power to be who we were created to be. We fall into the snare of inauthenticity.

If you grew up in a Christian environment, I am sure you’ve heard the adage, “Less of me and more of You, God.” As ‘humble’ as that may sound, it goes against what God wants for you and from you.

Yes, He delights for us to do all things unto Him and for His glory (Colossians 3:23-24), but He wants us to do things in the image that He created us in. He wants more of unique you.

Just as He doesn’t want a rose to shed its thorns in order to be like a daisy, neither does He delight to see Rose attempting to do things like her friend, Daisy, just because that is what has gotten man’s stamp of approval. Nor does He want any of us to stop being who He has uniquely imagined and created us to be.

We are, all of us, fearfully and wonderfully made, knit together by His hands with divine, and awesomely unique creativity (Psalm 139:13-14).

Can you be you? Absolutely! That is what you were created to be.

Whatever is burning inside of you may require you to not walk a path created, but to be a trailblazer and create a new path altogether. In order to do this you have to be you … and no one else.

You are going to face opposition when you take the courage to be the creative you that you are called to be. You are going to face mountains and even have to walk through many sung ballets of how you can’t do what you are doing with your authentic voice. But the beauty is, you can win if you step out in faith.

So I encourage you to be your authentic self, confirming the truth of the unique attributes that define you and the characteristics of your creative voice. You will win if you determine to be you!

Be yourself. Everyone else is taken.” ~Oscar Wilde

~Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do CONQUER!

What are your thoughts about being an authentic creative? Share your wisdom in the comments below!

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Tantrum: Microfiction #Blogbattle Week 57

I didn’t have much to say, so I decided to just say nothing. Staring blankly out into nothing seemed a better use of time, a determined waste of time, than yapping and pretending.

What was left to say? What was done was done.

Of course, that brought nothing but a cloud of awkward, a smelly cloud if you ask me. The only thing is if anyone were to ask me about the smelly cloud, they wouldn’t get an answer.

Why? Because I decided to be silent. It’s my world now.

I’ve also decided to hold my breath, while I stare out into nothing, especially since I am stuck in the stinky awkward cloud of silence.

It’s everyone else’s fault by the way. Yes! That’s the ticket! I am blaming them. I am blaming them for making me stare silently, out into nothing, in a stinky awkward cloud of silence, where I am now holding my breath until my lips turn blue and I pass out!

MOM! This is your fault! And one of us is going to have to realize that time out is not the answer! Things happen in a child’s world…but you wouldn’t understand.

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THE END

*The Blog battle has happened again! This week’s Keyword: TICKET. My Genre: CONTEMPORARY. To read more stories, visit Rachael Ritchey’s blog by clicking HERE.

Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER!

Lucky Phoebe: #Blogbattle

The foamy cream floating on the liquid brown of Phoebe’s coffee seemed to play out like a tiny vignette. The man finds a seat, sits in seat and then does nothing as the chair turns into a shark and swallows him whole.

“Phoebe, honey have you heard  a single word I’ve said?” Miss. Alice’s rough hand reached forward taking hold of Phoebe’s startling her. The vignette washed away.

“No ma’am, I mean, yes,” Phoebe shook her head quickly as if that would rattle her brain back into focus. “I’m sorry, Miss. Alice.” She dropped her elbows on the table and pushed her coffee mug away from her. A gnat had landed in it anyway.

Miss Alice gave her an appraising stare before taking a noisy sip from her own mug. “Listen sweet heart. I know things ain’t been good between you and Lucky,” Pheobe’s eyes were large as golf balls. Miss Alice sighed. “I would say don’t go worrying yourself, but I just can’t bring myself into giving you no false hope. Truth is I know when Lucky ain’t happy and he’s plum on the dark side of miserable. By the looks of thangs ya’ll both are.”

Phoebe held her tongue between her teeth on the inside of her mouth, and clamped down on it. The sharp pressure kept her chin from shaking with tears.

“Worst of it is, that Danske gal-”

“Milly Danske?” Phoebe’s back went ramrod straight.

“Do you know any other Danske hens? That plucked chicken has been clucking behind your husband, Phoebe!” She wagged a warning finger. “Now I done had my words with Lucky, told him he better tell that Jezebel to scoot away from my brother’s land a’fore I fill her scrawny backside with buck shots.”

Miss Alice took another slurp of her coffee, some of it trickled down her chin. She swiped it away with the back of her hand. “But it ain’t gone do a bit a good if you keep moping about, giving Lucky every reason under the sun to find himself a new gal to make a home with.”

“I ain’t done nothing, Miss Alice!”

“And there in lies the problem. You make the man feel unwelcome at his own table.”

“Its my table too,” Phoebe whispered, pulling her mug back towards her, if only to nurse her wounds with its warmth.

Miss Alice rubbed Phoebe’s arm before giving it a gentle squeeze. “And ain’t a soul said it weren’t.”

“Lucky did.” She clamped her mouth shut wishing she had kept her wits about her and not said a word. The shock of the words had coffee running out of Miss Alice’s nose.

“Now when in Sam’s Hill, did my nephew say something that foolish?! And don’t you dare go back peddling. You done let the truth slip you might as well tell it!”

Phoebe quickly ran through what had happened. She’d had enough of Lucky stomping through her kitchen fouling it up with animal stick from the fields, plopping down on the furniture without cleaning himself up first. And she let him know it. Lucky told her that was how he had done it all his life and things weren’t going to change for the likes of some female kid who done forced herself into his domain.

Phoebe corrected him about the reality of ownership, a fact Lucky contradicted, letting her know every thing was rightfully his and she was just a trespasser. The ring on her finger didn’t mean nothing. Weren’t no kind of love attached to it.

Lucky and she hadn’t had a mind to marry one another but had to since their Daddy’s had pushed them to it. Lucky’s Daddy owed Phoebe’s a heap of money he couldn’t pay back, best he could do was give him is only son’s inheritance. Phoebe’s Daddy didn’t think it right, being a God fearing Christian, so they decided the debt would be cancelled as soon as their children were paired up in matrimony.

Problem was, Lucky hadn’t known a thing about it until the deed to the land passed to his name on his Daddy’s dying day. It was then the Banker told him about what Lucky had to do if he were to keep his property.

Two months later and his ire had not died down.

Miss Alice was at a loss.

“Don’t worry,” Phoebe shrugged. “Ain’t your problem to mend. You can’t make him love me or even like me. I would settle for just a bit of respect is all.”

Miss Alice looked at her with glassy eyes. “Well it just ain’t right what he said. Matter a’ fact, it was dang mean!”

“He didn’t want this. Neither did I. But I have been trying. I suppose he is still grieving his Daddy.”

“He ain’t the only one who done lost Ray! He was my brother. And what about you? You had to leave hearth and home to come play cook and maid to my nephew. Least he could do is be nice. I got it in my mind to let him know it.” She gulped down the rest of her coffee.

Phoebe’s mouth opened but clamped shut just as the side door opened and Lucky walked in. He didn’t barge like usual. Didn’t growl how he was hollower than a log and needed his supper. Instead he just stood there, blue eyes solemn as the sky right before a rain storm. The smell of washing soap slowly filled the kitchen with a sweet and fragrant musk.

Lucky had washed up. Even his hair was damp.

Phoebe glanced at the clock and felt her stomach do a tumble. Lucky took supper at seven. It was half past. Had he heard their conversation? Embarrassed she stood up, “I’ll get your plate, Lucky.” Anything to not have to look at him.

Heat flushed Lucky’s face, his chestnut brow raised in silent apology. Yep, he had heard every word. The question was what was he going to do about it?

THE END OF PART 1

I have been trying my hand at romance writing. I don’t see myself  as the kind of writer who weaves tales with a bunch of drawn out pining and longing. Rather, my goal is to create characters who feel believable, people you pull for to succeed. As I took the word “Musk” from the Blog Battles, I decided to end this with just 1,000 words. I will try and throw a finish or at least a middle for next week. I wonder what we will find in Lucky’s head on the subject of his forced marriage? For more blog battle entries click HERE.

Cheers!

Only Willing Hearts: A Free Flow Write

“Hypocrite!” She screamed her voice so ragged he thought her throat was bleeding.

Roylin’s gaze darkened. “You do know what hypocrite means don’t you? It means actor, someone who pretends. I have not pretended anything with you, Lyzelle. In fact I have been nothing but honest.”

Lyzelle’s nostrils flared as if they were trying to reach the wide roundness that her irate eyes had. Roylin, however, smug as ever, seemed anything but irate. Sure, he had raised his voice, but that was only to over power her’s. Now that he had, now that he stared at her with narrowed, mocking eyes, he slipped into silence.

Triumphant silence. She thought, watching his milk white teeth scrap across his bottom lip as his mouth eased into a smile.

Roylin folded his arms across his chest and leaned in closer to her, lowering down from his height to better meet her gaze head on. “You don’t care for the truth, do you?”

The suggestion unnerved her all the more. “Of course I do! I-”

Roylin held his hand so close to her lips that Lyzelle felt the heat of them radiating from his skin. She quieted, wanting to have a full on battle with her heart for fluttering the way it was because of his closeness. He was the enemy. He was…

“No, Lyzelle. You only care for things that suit you,” He moved his hand away from her mouth, and placed the focus of his eyes there instead. “You like the thought of telling the world that this, this match, was not a good union. That I have been nothing but a delinquent, and it burns you that you cannot. Worse yet,”

Roylin let out a slow breath and stepped back from her, not by much, but  enough for her to suddenly miss his heat. “Worse yet, it burns you that you have caught affection for me. And that, dear Lyzelle is what makes you the hypocrite, not me.”

He turned from her and leaned his hips against the arm of the sofa. Lyzelle felt her nails, freshly manicured, stabbing into the palms of her hands. They were such pretty nails and yet they were causing her such ugly pain in that instance, the same way her unwanted husband had caused her pain by reading her like a wide open book, line by line, word for word.

Roylin was right. Lyzelle was the hypocrite, feigning disdain for a man who she had come to secretly admire and dare she say love? No! Not the L word. She had promised herself she would never love him, never…

Her eyes began to blur with tears. The rippling of the water so distorted her view that she had not been aware of Roylin’s hand when it hesitated before hooking her chin.

Hot tears sprang from her eyes even as she tried to bat them away, hide them from this man who was sure to mock her. She stilled upon his words, the low tenderness of his voice, soothing her somehow.

“You do not need to cry, Wife. I meant all that I said and I said it unashamedly.” His other hand took hold of her face and in unison his thumbs brushed away the errant tears that had betrayed her. “We shared the same feelings for each other once. Truly, I may not have loved you before, certainly had not even thought to like you, but I do now, and nothing can change that. Not even you.”

He leaned his face closer to hers, his breath played against her cheek as he spoke. “And I reckon you have no desire of attempting to do so.” He whispered before setting his lips sweetly against hers. It was not the briefest of kisses but it was not so long that Lyzelle in her fragile, distrusting state would have treated it as a gesture that had overstayed its welcome.

In fact, she wished for more and would have kicked herself for taking more had the sensation that rippled through her not been so intoxicating. Roylin laughed against her lips as he lifted her from the ground, his arms strong around her waist.

Again, Lyzelle’s eyes shot wide, and embarrassment colored her cheeks with the thought she had been had, that she had played right into his hand. Here comes the mockery, Lyzelle.

As if he could have read her thoughts, Roylin brushed his mouth against hers and said, “There are no actors here, Lyzelle. Only willing hearts.” Another kiss, longer and sweeter. “…Only willing hearts.”

And with that she let herself be satisfied.

THE END

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Words…use them wisely

Life is more than words, but words do make up our lives.

Have you ever considered how the simplest of words can change a person’s attitude either for the good or bad? Even the words spoken without verbalization have such great power.

Consider a person who feels utterly alone, ignored and unseen. Let a stranger smile at them, genuinely smile at them, and that non-verbal interaction, those ‘words’ smelled out without sound, can push away the dark clouds in the recipient’s day.  13852495177jh1x

God created the whole of creation with just His Words (Genesis 1). He spoke and it become. Yeshua (Jesus Christ) is the Word made flesh (John 1).

He, too spoke and things happened. He spoke to the fig tree and it died (Mark 11:12-25.) He spoke to Lazarus and he was resurrected from the dead, (John 11: 38-44.)

Being a person of faith I am compelled not to take language and words lightly even though I often stumble, firing verbal bullets into the dark, careless of the casualties.

How do you use your words; verbal and non-verbal? What message are you sending to others? How are you shaping your world and the world of others with what you say or with what you fail to say?

Sure, this is definitely a soul-thing that I am talking about, but it also has to do with our Creative Expressions. What message are you intending to get across to your readers, your watchers and your listeners?

Within every story there is an undertone, a hidden message that stays with the audience even though it may never have been outwardly mentioned. The message of courage is a regular theme found in many novels.

No other actual says “this story is about courage” while the story is being read, but the message is clear, the mental expression is read loud in clear if the author has done their job.

I raise these questions not just as an artist, a writer, a reader, a listener, and a watcher, but I raise them because of some of the mountains that I am facing as a human being just trying to relate to those around me.

We have such great power to say things with our mouths, but our eyes and body language scream words much louder, which ultimately leave the greatest impression. Its like telling someone you love them while rolling your eyes and sneering at them. I guarantee you the sneer had more of an impression than the verbal exchange.

Consider your words. Consider what you are saying in your music, your visual art, your writing. Say what you mean and mean what you say. Consider the power that you hold as the creator of something wonderful and use your power wisely.

Cheers!

I came for the soup.dpp widgets