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When you get a spare minute, you can add this to your journey into the mind--the next chapter of "God Didn't Give Me These Talents So I Could Be Miserable Not Using Them."
Chapter 5: The Unbelievers
They’re always going to be there; those people who tell you you can’t or you’re crazy or it will never work. There are reasons for that. First of all, if you have been so deeply buried that even you had to dig to find yourself, how can others be expected to know who you are? You’re presenting yourself as something different than what they thought you were. They don’t know how to handle that! Which means they’re the ones with the problems! Let me explain that concept.
People are comfortable with who you have been. It’s how they know you, how they relate to you. Now you’re telling them you’re going to change. That means they’re going to have to work, too; because if you change, they’ll have to change to relate to the new you. Some people don’t like change—it’s hard work!
Some are actually going to be jealous of you. They all had dreams once, too—maybe they still do—but you have had the gall to go after yours. How dare you! Some of them have not yet discovered that they have the power to move toward their dreams. Others have given up, or are so afraid of change…. Well, you’ve been there. You understand what it’s like for them.
How do they handle these feelings? They try to go to the source. If they can convince you not to change, then they don’t have to. If they can prevent you from having success, they don’t have to feel bad about where they are in life. It all translates to their trying to knock you off course.
When I had my first local success as a playwright, some of my friends were supportive, and made a big deal of the publicity I received. I was amazed, though, that others turned away from me. I couldn’t understand what was happening. Fortunately, one of my friends is herself a highly published writer, and she, having been through this herself, explained to me what was happening.
Once I knew, the situation was a lot easier to handle. That changed my attitude. I could deal with the things that had been hurtful before because I knew that, in reality, those words and actions were not directed at me. They were outward manifestations of inward frustrations. I could feel empathy for the people who were hurting me—or at the very least, sympathy. And though some incidents still stung, they didn’t sting deeply or for very long.
I had another ally. I have the great fortune of being married to a man who believes in me. He always has, even when my poems were lousy and my stories were worse. He encouraged me to continue developing my talents through all the years when I had very little time to do it, and has been my biggest fan as my efforts have started to pay off. Having supportive people around you makes the job easier and more fun. It’s always nice to share your triumphs with people you love.
I also found great encouragement in theater groups and writing groups. Creative people are usually open to new ideas; and having felt the joy of creation themselves, they foster those tendencies in others. They were the first to tell me when some aspect of my work needed improvement, but they were also the loudest cheerleaders when I was doing well.
When negative people are part of your life, you need to gravitate to those people who offer you hope. In the movie “Hook” starring Robin Williams (Columbia Tristar, 1991), Peter Pan has forgotten who he is. His mannerisms give hints to his inner character, but he has blocked all recognition of his spirit from his mind—and he is a very unhappy, stressed-out man whose relationships are strained the breaking point. Until he is faced with a crisis. Then he is forced to rediscover himself and redevelop the talents that have laid dormant for many years. Why? What is his motivation? To serve others. To save his children.
Captain Hook repeatedly says that this paunchy, middle-aged executive could not possibly be Peter Pan. Most of the Lost Boys don’t believe it. Hook even breaks the fragile image Peter’s son Jack holds of his father, and leaves Jack thinking that his father is cowardly and uncaring.
The most poignant moment in the movie for me is when one of the Lost Boys, trying to figure out if this relic from the “real world” could possibly be Peter Pan, looks deeply into Peter’s eyes—the mirrors of the soul—and says, “Oh, Peter! There you are!” Only then does Peter himself begin to believe. He then spends his time with people who believe, or are at least willing to consider the possibility that he is “The Pan,” and encourage him to stretch himself beyond his self-imposed limits. His progress from that point is amazing.
You must believe in yourself, and draw strength from those who believe in you. Remember your Heavenly Father in this quest, and make sure that the things you are doing are right in His eyes, and that you are using your talents as He would have you use them. If you’re right with God, it doesn’t matter what anybody else thinks.