Friday, June 9, 2017

The Importance of Being Genuine


Be genuine. Sounds easy doesn't it? But it's not really; not in a culture that is always screaming at you to fit in, to go with the flow, to follow the trends. The world is full of people who are trying to be just like everyone else. When I was fourteen and fifteen this was something I struggled with. A lot. I didn't want to stand out from the crowd, and yet I knew I was unique. I love vintage clothing, red lipstick, leopard print, gold sparkles, writing (um, isn't that SCHOOL?) photography (In case you haven't noticed XD) and singing Les Mis at the top of my voice in the middle of our field at the dead of night. 


We are all so unique. No two people are exactly the same and yet we are trying to squeeze ourselves into the molds of our ideals. I was one of those, I was trying so hard to be someone else. But I couldn't. And when I was sixteen I stopped trying. 

I let go of my ideals. I let go of my desire to fit in. I decided to embrace the way that God made me and question his judgement. Because I know that He didn't make a mistake when He made me. And He didn't make a mistake on you either. 

Lately I've come to face to face with the fact that this involves far more than just personal style. I need to be genuine in everything. I won't write the same as everyone else. I have a different style of prose, different interests and different goals. I won't run my business the same as everyone else. I need to be genuine in my relationships because hiding behind a mask is not as safe as I might want to believe. 


Writing...

I have been writing seriously for about two years now. It has been a journey! There is so much to learn and I have come so far (that is far enough to cringe at my work from two years ago...). But looking back what changed the game most for me was learning not to be afraid to put myself into my writing.

 It is a SCARY thing. 

Seriously, it can be terrifying. The whole idea of drawing from your personal experiences and laying them out for the world to see (eventually, after LOTS of editing ;) is far from comfortable. Thankfully, the chances are low that anyone will actually be able able to tell. It's far more likely that they will be able to connect with your characters on a deeper level because they are human. They are human because you poured yourself into them and made them real. 

And when readers connect to your story on a deeper level you have a chance to influence them forever. That's why you have to be genuine. Candid about life and humanity. Truthful about the fallen state of the world. Honest about hope. Words are powerful. 


Business...

Being genuine in business is so important. People want to work with people. They want to hire someone because they trust them and they value their service. I am a photographer because I believe that everyone has a story worth telling, worth documenting and worth remembering. 

Business and branding is really all about standing out. It's about being different and new and exciting.  Most importantly it's about being able to share our confidence with others. We can have confidence in Christ that he made us the way we are for a reason.

Relationships...

Being genuine in relationships is something everyone probably struggles with. It make us feel vulnerable to be honest about ourselves. But trust is what builds strong relationships and we have to willing to put ourselves at risk for someone we love. True love is a willingness to sacrifice yourself for the good of another. Loving our neighbors is a high calling. 

Being genuine is more than just being yourself; it's being the person who God has called you to be. 

~ Sarah Leana

Anyone else here a writer?
What's one crazy quirk about you? ;)

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