Wednesday, October 19, 2011
DAY 11: BEFORE WE GET STARTED
This morning, I talked to a new client on the phone. She asked me to take pictures of her parents for their 50th wedding anniversary. Now, I do not label myself a Photographer by any stretch. I know who I consider to be true "Photographers" and I do not fall anywhere close, so I don't give myself the title and cringe when other people label me as such. I studied mostly old school, black and white photography in college and would spend entire days locked in a darkroom (one of my most favorite places in the entire world) processing film and printing pictures. I left school early, though, for various reasons, one of which being that I realized if I wanted to have a career in photography I would need to really sell my work...sell myself. The thought of yelling "pick me, pick me!" still is far too scary and doesn't interest me in the least. One of the appeals of photography is being able to hide behind the camera and secretly capture those things I see as beautiful, even if nobody else sees them that way. I also get to help people capture memories of their loved ones and that is quite a humbling gift. It's a quiet place, a safe place. A safe place that becomes not so safe when I put a price on my work. So, if asked, I take pictures for a few friends and others here and there for a small fee. I don't chase work, it usually finds me cowering in a corner trying to convince it to ask someone else.
After finishing the phone conversation this morning, the insecurity began. It's always there, really, but it flares up a bit more when the pressure is on. Like water being in a teapot lying dormant until the heat is on. I haven't even met these people, but I'm already critiquing myself and fearing an unhappy outcome. This isn't the only area of my life where the critiquing happens. It's easy to allow the voice in my head, the one I think knows me best, to remind me again why I shouldn't even bother trying, why I'll never be anything worthwhile. It gives me another valid reason for not taking the risk and I listen. Why is it that this is the voice that I listen to so often? Why should it get stage time and be allowed to suck the energy, the joy, and the very life out of me?
Even in typing these words I realized that the voice in my head is NOT the one that knows me best. Why? Because the voice inside only sees things from my perspective. It may know my shortcomings, my past failures, my fears, my deepest desires, my quiet tears, but it can't see the whole picture of my life. Only God can do that. He can see my life from start to finish. He can see what I was created for, the lives He has ordained for me to touch in some small way. He can see my shortcomings and fears and knows exactly what I can handle. He can see those things I see as past failures in the context of my whole life and knows how those may have helped me change course to be right where I am today. He sees my deepest desires and longs for me to make His desires for me my own. He sees my quiet tears and is right there beside me in every moment. Why isn't it His voice that I listen for? Why isn't He the one I run to first? Sometimes I'm afraid to hear Him, what He might say. Not because I think His words will be ones of anger, but because I'm afraid they'll be what I know they'll be, words of love and encouragement. He would tell me that I'm His daughter, that I'm beautiful, that He loves me more than I could ever know, and it would be hard to believe Him, because I don't think I'm worthy of such love. And I'm not. But He loves me anyways. Without condition. Without fail. It's not about me, it's about Him.
If only His was the voice that I listened to when the critiquing started. If only His was the strength I relied on when my fear is overwhelming. If only His were the arms that I fell into when I feel utterly defeated before even starting. I hope that I reach a point in my life where this is commonplace. Until then, it's worth working towards. Do you ever feel the same way?