- to make great efforts to achieve or obtain something
- to struggle or fight vigorously
I have a confession: I strive. And I'm tired of striving.
This thing called life is like a treadmill. You wake up and hop on and set the pace. Most my days are ran in full sprints. I feel like I'm behind, that I have so much to learn, that there's always "something" I can do. Hypothetically, it's like I'm running and then I look at the girl next to me and think "Oh... I need to run just as fast"... I need to create like her, I need to take pictures like her... oh... let's just ramp it up some.
Let's take a normal day. Most people wake up and check instagram or facebook. We check our followers count, see if we have new comments on last nights facebook image, or if that friend still is following us. We watch what other people are doing, trying to replicate beautiful things, or just seeing what other people are doing... because their life and pictures are just so “perfect.” (can you hear the sarcasm!?) and we want to be like them.
Sometimes I wondering what we (Living Radiant Photography) could do different or what we can do the same as somebody else but better? Then I stop myself and think, “What the Heck! What am I doing?!”
Striving and trying to obtain something because someone else has it is not life-giving. In fact it enslaves us and robs us of the life we have been given. Trying to be like other people. Exhausting. Trying to replicate styles. Probably not a good idea. Why isn’t what I do "good enough”? Many times people do things to try to get other peoples attention or to try to draw our own attention and get the focus on us. You may as well wear a leotard on a tread mill at the gym with a side pony tail, and a hot pink headband. It's not you.
Patrick, my amazing husband and business partner always reminds me of the things that really matter. I’m called to be me and nobody else. I'm called to be creative like nobody else. I'm called to think for myself, to try things because I want to try them, not because someone else has already done it. I may not like the trend of anchors, but I sure love the water. That’s okay and it still makes me good. I may not like stripe shirts but I love the colors navy and gold. That’s okay.
It doesn't matter what you do, where you live, what you wear, how your house/office is decorated, or how much you make… it just doesn’t. But what does matter all all the things that make you, YOU. Don't discount what you love and where you come from.
Patrick and I aim to be life-giving and pour into others rather than take what others have, be greedy with our time, and stay up late scheming ways to grow faster and faster (but yes we do dream and write things down). I have to remember, I will never be like anyone else. How I love people will always be more impacting than trying to love others like someone else.
I have struggled with striving my whole life. I work hard, but almost too much. I want "man's" approval, but almost too much. I am critical of our work, and probably too much. I try to do the best and always feel like it's never good enough. I’m my biggest critic.
I don't know about you but I am tired of striving. I'm tired of trying to be like someone else. I'm tired of not be good enough. But the truth is… I am enough. At some point we must just decide that YOU ARE GOOD. That YOU ARE ENOUGH. That you have what it takes to succeed. That you have your creativity for a reason. I'm one that believe there is a God who gives us the ability to dream, to create, to innovate, to try, to fail, to walk in freedom. We are called to be like nobody else. We each have a calling we each have things that make us come alive. You can step off the treadmill because you've done well for the day.
If I’m going to strive, I’m gonna strive to be better than I was yesterday. I’m gonna strive to make my husband and our friendships a priority. I'm going to wait well for growth. I’m gonna strive to make time for my family since our weekends are consumed with work/weddings. That's what matters. Not my instagram follower count, the # of likes on a picture, or how many weddings we book in a year.
The things that actually matter at the non-tangibles. What matters is keeping yourself happy, healthy, and whole in all areas. What matters are that our beautiful brides are more consumed/focuses on their marriage and groom than on their wedding plans and wedding colors. Life is too short to get consumed with trying to be like someone else, worrying about what we "aren't doing". You were designed to be you. Run the race set before you. There's no need to look around and see who is ahead and behind you in this thing we call the race of life. We are all in this things together.
Stop the striving. Do what you love and let yourself come alive. Cast off the shackles. Walk in Freedom.
You are good. And You are Enough.