Sometimes I find dreams really annoying. In this case I’m not talking about those wonderful dreams that help us to see a future worth working toward, No, I’m talking about those middle of the night, wake you up feeling disoriented, strange, upset, etc. You know the kind I’m talking about. Last night I had two.
In the first I was with my youngest son. He was doing a presentation and he asked for my help. He was trying to cut burlap pieces for part of his demonstration. He needed to go on stage and so I was backstage cutting his pieces for him. As he worked I heard people shouting about how he was being wasteful with the material and the way he was doing things was wrong. I understood perfectly what he was trying to do and it was great. I was just back stage, getting more and more upset. “Let him alone. You just don’t understand his process.” I wanted to jump out there and save the day, but I knew I just had to keep working to help him finish and be understood.
If you’ve been a creative for any length of time, you’ve felt it too. Misunderstood. It’s really aggravating but it goes with the territory for those of us who blaze new trails. We try new things and not everyone can see where we’re headed. It can be painful, but if we will persevere, we can usually help some people (not everyone) to see the light.
The second dream involved me. I was at a former job, one that I lost, trying to figure out when my last day would be. I asked my boss, and she began to tell me I was no good and I never was. (She did not do this in real life.) These were not her real words, this was heaping condemnation and even though I know where condemnation comes from, I awoke dealing with something I have struggled with for much of my life. Feeling unwanted. I felt miserable.
Feelings of “unwantedness” are pretty common for creatives too. You put forth a great effort and people don’t get it or don’t want it. There are a couple large events I would love to speak at, but I get passed over for people who are further along and after a while I find myself questioning my value. Like, “How many years do I have to be doing this before people see the value in what I do?” It leaves me feeling unwanted. I’m guessing I’m not the only one. So how do you beat this?
Well that’s what I went to in prayer and I got some things I already knew. I share them here for anyone who has ever felt misunderstood or unwanted. First, you need to change your focus. I can focus on the few events that haven’t brought me in, or I can focus on the ones who call me almost weekly asking me to come in. I can focus on the people all over the world who read this blog and seek me for help. I can focus on the job that chose to go in a different direction or I can focus on the family who loves me and the congregation that voted to have me lead them. Most importantly, we need to focus on truth. I’m someone for whom Jesus died. I’m someone who God loves. I am blessed and highly favored. I am the head and not the tail. I’m a child of God. I’m understood by the one who made me and I am wanted by the one who matters most.
You’re not unwanted. You are loved. Know that and live in it.