A short word on my experience at doing new things: It probably won’t go perfectly the first time. Expect difficulties and deicide what to do about them ahead of time, and it usually will go smoother than you anticipated. As the adage goes, nothing worth having comes easily.
Month: February 2016
CPR on the soul.
Oh my gosh I haven’t posted in weeks!
Now that that’s out of the way, I can honestly say I haven’t known what to write about.
How about creativity? I’ve been thinking about inspiration a lot. And inspiration fuels creativity.
But I guess I don’t need to explain creativity. Inspiration, though, is a lost thing in a lot of us.
I actually looked it up for another project I was working on. Inspiration used to be, and still is, defined as a Divine influence, upon the soul or spirit. (I’ve shortened it, as you probably can tell.) Imparted by the Holy Spirit, according to Webster’s 1828 Dictionary. Also, to inspire means to fill with an animating, quickening, or exalting influence.
In short, when you want or just need to do something, but in a really good way; then you’ve been inspired. It’s the urge to create, or to be better at something.
What I love about a good book or movie is how much it makes me want to live life better. The world doesn’t seem flat, insipid, dark, lonely, or meaningless anymore. This is different from feeling pumped after an action flick, or in awe after an inspirational story. I’ve never found inspirational stories, sold on that premise, to actually inspire me to do anything. It’s the inspirational stories I didn’t expect that do the most. Take my old time favorites The Hiding Place, The Secret Garden, The Enchanted April, Frozen, and here’s a new one, an old-ish movie called The Miracle Worker. This is the story of Helen Keller and Annie Sullivan. This movie did not inspire me to overcome obstacles, or to persevere, in fact I’m not sure I took away the “message” at all, but I decided after viewing it to learn to fingerspell. Then I learned sign language, I now speak it fairly well and have tried to teach it to other people with some success. People have told me they think it’s beautiful to watch. If it is, that’s an accident on my part, usually; but I learned something good and I enjoyed it, all because of an inspiring story.
Inspiration is marked by action. Not speech. A speech can be inspired, but that takes refining and effort, not like babbling. No one ever heard inspired babbling.
Honestly, why are people so flippant nowadays? We don’t even try to understand great art, or great literature. We make fun of them instead. I used to be that way. Blame whatever you wish for this attitude we’ve all adopted, but I suggest we seriously ask ourselves what we’re passionate about. PDS is Passion Deficiency Syndrome. It’s kind of a churchy term, I’ll grant you, but I notice it’s not just the church, it’s everyone. Well almost everyone. We’ve all gotten tired of the sameness of places. Like a prison. If I try to be witty, I might say I’m tired of people talking or singing about being individuals, and I wish they’d just be individuals instead. Apparently, being unique is important to the majority of Millenials, (if I can believe the part of the article I read about it,) but I don’t really see it, you know. I don’t mean just looking different. I mean, deep down, being different.
I blame a lack of inspiration for the lack of individuality. I think people are disconnected from God, or from the aspects of Him that nourish our soul. Beauty and Greatness, where will we find them? The answer is quite simple, you have to look. It won’t be obvious, but it won’t hide itself either. Before inspiration comes good influence. And that is up to us, Sometimes we can’t choose our environment, but we can always choose what part of it we focus on and allow to shape us. Someone once said Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it. I don’t know if that is accurate, but the principle of it is.
I don’t mean in the least that inspiration can be forced. You will never be able to force yourself to enjoy life or to want it, or to want to be creative or a better person. I have tried, it’s impossible. But things come to us that present these things as offers. We can surrender to it, or resist it. But looking for it is a good step toward attaining it.
By the by, another definition of inspire is to breath into.
I hope this made some sense, because it’s a difficult thing to explain, in fact I really can’t. So I can only hope my words touched on your own experiences. Until next time–Natasha
Don’t deal with the devil
We’ve all heard the phrase “Made a deal with the devil.” Perhaps some of us think nothing of it, but it gives me the creeps. Who the heck would do that? Even if we claim the devil is not real, the expression still means to sell your soul to, or at least make a contract with, evil. And who would do that?
Lots of people. Have you ever excused doing something you knew was wrong? Maybe by saying “My parents did it?” Or “Well, that’s just the way I am.” Or have you ever called a lie “necessary” or “harmless.” Have you ever compromised your morals to keep something a secret, or given in to peer pressure?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, these can all be different forms of dealing with evil. And by evil, I mean anything that is wrong, directly harms others or yourself, and is destructive to health, happiness, or emotional security.
Having these kinds of deals always involves shame. We fear other people finding out that we do it. The most common example would be drug use or alcoholism, people give in to it out of fear or emotional problems, and then they have even more fear and issues because they have to hide it or act like it doesn’t bother them. They have to pay the piper a high price to numb their pain. The price includes relationships, health, jobs, freedom, ability to reason, and the list goes on.
Another way, by far the most common, is to make a deal with fear that requires you to do things you know are wrong to stay safe. Fear always threatens to expose you for a coward, so often we have to do even more things to cover it up. Like being dishonest and saying it’s the way of the world, and you have to be that way to survive. Or being unfair for the same reasons. But at bottom, we’re afraid, and we’re afraid of our fear being exposed. They say that’s why bullies are mean and tough on the outside, but inside they are often immature and insecure themselves.
We also make deals with mediocrity. We put forth only so much effort, because it’s not really worth it. As long as we meet the minimum requirement, mediocrity lets us live comfortably, but it never betters our circumstances or lets us escape our cage. We are left alone, left to ourselves. Again, people are afraid; so they think as long as they aren’t targeted by the bad guys, it’s okay. But sooner or later they realize they missed out on true greatness. One might even ask if mediocrity was not just as evil as the other examples, because it deprives the world of more and more greatness. And the people around you as well.
There are more deals, but I hope you’re getting my point enough to leave it at these examples. Now, there is hope. Another word for deals could be allegiance and having an allegiance to evil is fatal. To really live, you must break it. Verbally even, or on paper, or perhaps all it will take is a deep decision within you. I don’t recommend trying to do this without God’s help, because these deals are usually ingrained in us by the time we realize their presence. But break the deal. It’s up to you to decide what it making the deal too costly to stick to. Like Lando in Star Wars: The Empire strikes back. Who has to decide at what point protecting his people from the Empire is less important than doing what he knows is right. So, when have you had enough? Enough of the guilt, the fear, the misery. (I trust all my readers know that I’m only referring to people who know they have bad deals in their lives.) If you’ve had enough, then end the charade, prolonging it will only make it worse. Then choose a new allegiance, to good.
“Submit to God, resist the Devil, and he will flee from you.” James 4:7