November 27, 2019

When You Feel Unaffirmed

A quick thought if you’ve ever felt or are currently feeling unseen, undervalued, or unaffirmed:

Sometimes you’re in a season where other people may not understand the gifting inside of you exactly – or they are just looking for something different, and that’s ok. 

 

Too often I get wrapped up in the falsehood that other people have to understand my gifts or my dreams in order for them to be valid – that is not so. 

What we all have to realize is that the gifts inside of us don’t need a signature of approval from people. It is nice to be appreciated – words of affirmation – is high on my love language chart so I have to make sure I’m aware of what that means for me. Of making sure the lack of affirmation doesn’t translate somehow into lack of value. They are not the same thing. 

It is ok to want affirmation. The trouble begins when you need it. 

“Don’t confuse visibility with value.” – Christine Caine

Perhaps you don’t feel seen. Perhaps the people around you don’t put a demand on what’s inside of you. That’s real. 

Sometimes you have to put a demand on yourself. Find a way to exercise and appreciate your gifts. This does not need to be on a public stage. In fact, I would argue if you only get satisfaction if you are out in front of people there may be some other investigating to do about what you are really seeking. 

I have Pearl, my ukulele. We’ve been rocking together a few months now. Personally, I needed something that I could use to challenge and grow what I know is inside of me. It’s become something really personal and fulfilling to be able to accompany my own worship time – and help me begin to appreciate the sound of the voice I was given for myself. Without any added pressures or outside opinion. 

My decision to engage with my own gift has fostered a bit of confidence that has opened some small doors to use it with others. That is a pleasant byproduct, but not the goal.

The main point, though, is not to let the lights dim on who you are called to be for lack of outside accolades, support, or understanding. Creativity often doesn’t find it’s home until after all is said and done anyhow. Needing yours to be fully accepted may just be holding up the process of it all. 

Put a demand on your own gift. Put yourself in a position to stir it up, to take it somewhere new, to grow it – for you. And because you’re thankful for it. And for no other reason. 

There is little that is more fulfilling. 

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