Hello, my name is Mari and I am a people pleaser.
As long as I can remember, at least 90% of my motivations for doing well in life have revolved around making other people happy. School, parents, leadership roles, art, I have a deep seated desire for people to like me, like what I make or do, like the person I project. My identity, my self worth is wrapped up in it.
As a Christian I have long struggled to break free of my desire to impress other people, of placing my value in what others think of my work. I struggle to instead focus my being into glorifying the creative God that made me creative, in His image.
Lately, I have been dealing with how to focus my brand of creativity and art. I like to do many things, and many things I do well, but they don't always co-mingle. I struggle to reconcile the many aspects of my creativity, but in that, also wanting to not edit or leave anything out on the off chance someone likes that too. My flesh wants to feel like I have earned some right standing as an artist, to not let anyone down.
I made the image above to preach to myself today.
I do not have to make everyone happy.
It is not my job, and it murders my joy.
I love to make. I am a maker down to the very core of my being, but when I try too hard to do too many things for every kind of person, I lose my identity and become wrapped up in someone else's idea of me...and its exhausting. It robs me of my creativity, it robs me of the sheer delight of making simply because my God made me a maker. I make because He made, I create because He created, I am the image of my Father and my hands work because He gave them life. I lose sight of that and dwell in the uncertainty and anxiety that comes from wanting to please everyone but the One who matters.
I am fighting to come out of a place where I live in anxiety over my next creative decision, my creative identity; am I a jewelry artist or crafter or an illustrator or any number of other things How do I fit into a neat category? Those labels should not define me, and I am fighting to shed them and embrace my name as Child, Daughter of the Most High.
I don't want to linger in the depths of paralyzing fear anymore, fear of disappointing others, fear of failure, fear of not fulfilling my potential, fear of not doing what I what I went to school for, what fear even of succeeding and baring my soul to the world, afraid I will be found out as an flawed soul who has no idea what she's doing.
I want to live and make and do life in freedom, freedom from living up to others expectations, the freedom that comes from resting in the truth of the Gospel, that through the death of Christ I died to myself, and have been made a new creation, to bring glory to Him who loved me and sacrificed Himself for my gain.
I'm trying to rest secure in who I am in that reality, and trying not to be afraid of it.
Lord help me.