Yes, I’m talking to you. I am scared of you. Totally. Completely. 100%.
It’s not because of what you may think. It has nothing to do with your appearance or how much money you make. I would have no problem meeting you in any type of social setting. No, you don’t freak me out. I’m not afraid you will steal from me or hurt my family. This is not some sort of paranoia. My fear comes from a completely different place. But it is just as real. It is so strong, in fact, that it has the power to paralyze. My fear of you has done this on many occasions, more than I can remember, and much more than I want to admit to you. That would simply add to my paralysis.
You don’t realize the power that you possess. But I do. I have seen it many times, and I have experienced both the positive and negative sides of this power.
Your power is simple: You have the ability to accept or reject.
This may not seem like much at first, but I assure you, it is! This power is able to build up or tear down. Entire careers have been created through the wielding of this power. Yet, many more lives have been crushed.
And so, this power has rendered me, well, powerless. I know that I have a message to share with the world. I also know that every time I write, every time I post, every time I shoot a video, you have the power to accept it or reject it, accepting or rejecting me in the process.
And I think I’ve handled just about as much rejection as I can handle.
I can blame busyness or moving states or job changes or any number of things on the fact that Phosphorus Project has floundered for so many years. I could. But it would be total crap. And I know it. I have not ever fully given my “all” to my dream because I am afraid that you will reject me. That you will think I am a fraud or just plain suck. And then you will turn your back on me and walk out the door.
While it may seem like I am being hard on myself, I’m not. Honest, but not overly harsh. I’m not even unique in this struggle. Every writer that I follow has admitted to wrestling with this same issue. What if I share my art with the world, and the world hates it?
Or even worse, ignores it!
The reason for my fear
There is a reason for my fear. I don’t want to seem like I’m comparing my life to anyone else (I am not a fan of that line of thinking); however, I have experienced more loss in my life than most, I would guess.
I will save the details for a later time. But here is a quick rundown:
- After my first marriage ended, I lost all but 2 friends. I was to blame, but it still hurt as I was outcast from every social circle I knew.
- Family deaths have included my grandparents, my uncle, my aunt, and my dad. I was 30-years-old when he died. It was tough. Still is.
- After my dad died, there was a stupid fight over the will. The result: my entire dad’s side of the family disowned (no exaggeration) my mom, my sister, and myself. They have 0% to do with us. And this was the family I grew up closest to in Indiana. Growing up, we would have 30+ people from Dad’s side at my grandma’s house for Thanksgiving. Today: My Indiana family is my mom. My sister lives in South Africa.
This isn’t a sob-story. I’m not sitting at Panera with a box of Kleenex (awkward!). But I’m done with people leaving me.
The stupidity of this fear
It’s as simple as this: People are going to leave me. Death will happen. People will change jobs, states, and seasons of life. And some people will reject me. That’s actually not a bad thing. It’s just hard to come to terms with. I know you can’t make everyone happy. And the art that tries to make everyone happy always fails. I must stand up for what I believe, and for what I believe I am meant to create in this world. I have to use my voice.
This is my call to arms.
It’s time to bleed
Writing is easy. You just sit down at a typewriter, open a vein, and bleed. -Red Smith
No one said writing is easy. It’s hard. Living a life of authentic faith is hard. Inspiring people to grow closer to God is hard. Spreading the Gospel message of Jesus is hard. But it is the hard things that make a difference. Nothing easy lasts.
It’s time to bleed. It’s time to pour out my soul, share my worldview, and live out my own purpose and vision. That is one of the KEY aspects of the Phosphorus Project, to inspire others to live out their purpose. So, I have to lead the way. I must be a trailblazer, willing to risk, fail, and bleed. But through this pain, I may just do something amazing, beautiful and creative with my life (through God’s help).
That is why this post isn’t really for you.
It’s for me.
I had to post this. I had to stare my fears in the face, name them, and make them visible for the world to see.
In the future, I will write for you. I will do my best to inspire you and equip you with the resources you need to grow in your Faith, find your purpose, love your family well, and overcome your past. But first, I had to face some demons of my own. This is the only way I can be authentic in my calling and the only way I can serve you well.
This won’t be the only time. I have had to face these fears in the past (not very well, I might add), and I am sure I will have to do it, again. But for now, today, I’m letting them go.
I have something to share with you. Something to teach you. And if I’m afraid of you, I’ll never be able to help you.
So, I am bleeding.