Room for my heart's true music…..

sing I’ve been gingerly placing some fresh boundaries around spaces for my writing and art….saying some new “no”s……giving less time to situations that sap my energy.

The pain of un-meeting expectations leaves my soul burning like a forest on fire. No, like the whole of California and surrounding dessert ablaze. White, hot unrest, like ash from well-burning coals, is toasting some soft spots in my comfort zones until I feel singed and charred. The blaze gobbles up old, familiar air.

What’s worse, I know I can put out this fire if I suit up, grab myself by the appearances and begin spraying the fireline with fresh apologies, obligatory phone calls and re-scheduled visits.
I could arrest these flames~could control this~with some approval-seeking gifts and explanations. But unruly winds intent on my freedom keep raging…jumping the firebreaks my inadequate sacrifices have carved.

I’m a people pleaser in an awfully awkward position: I want to stop. To let the fires inside me rage and tear through the structures I’ve built and maintain at great cost to my heart’s true music. I’ve already lost too many precious minutes dancing to the tune of other people’s expectations~some real, others only imagined. I’m in a death-roll with my own unrealistic expectations, as well.

I want to lose them ALL~to lose the yoga-in-tight-jeans constriction that siphons off the joy of moving and breathing to the unforced rhythms of grace. I’m longing to really love, instead… wholeheartedly and fearlessly. From a place of rest and realness. Not enslaved, resigned, and far too polite.

Pine cones drop their seeds because of the heat of fires that destroy other trees, consuming the deadwood and underbrush. Am I brave enough to let this uncomfortable blaze burn unchecked, trusting that new life will push through the charred ground and become the song my heart longs for?

Going down~ knees to the ground~ I say yes to the fire and flame~.and yes to what will remain
after the burning’s done.


  1. PaperPumpkin on July 11, 2010 at 6:03 pm

    I LOVE this post. I love how you describe your unrest. I too have gone in and out and about with similar feelings. I am one of 'those people' that could easily become a hermit, simply being alone with journals, paper, fabric, pens, books, in my creativity space. (I don't like answering the phone or the front door!) I don't like "going out" often. I love to be at home, playing by myself, feeling free to do so, and having no plans…but to BE. I wish you a cooling, peaceful mist over your hot unrest today, my friend.

  2. Just Be Real on July 11, 2010 at 11:20 pm

    I sense the stirring within your soul Jen. Ironically I wrote something a little similar tonight on my blog. I love how you phrase the following: "Pine cones drop their seeds because of the heat of fires that destroy other trees, consuming the deadwood and underbrush."


  3. Bren on July 12, 2010 at 11:54 am

    It's a familiar battle, but one that does have to be fought or our creative selves dry up and we have no peace, that's no way to live. Once again, your quotable as ever, I've started a 'Jen Quote' file so I never loose the edge of your creative pen. So win this battle, cause I want to buy your book one day 🙂

  4. Paul C on July 12, 2010 at 12:57 pm

    You express so well this yearning for personal emotional release from the social obligations and expectations which bind…and of moving and breathing to the unforced rhythms of grace… Beautiful imagery.

  5. Hindsfeet on July 13, 2010 at 1:03 am

    my God, Jennifer……..Once again, you've articulated my heart's cry, my life's cry….."I'm longing to really love, instead… wholeheartedly and fearlessly. From a place of rest and realness. Not enslaved, resigned, and far too polite." ***YES***….and yes to all of it….my God my God….I wish us both freedom, freedom from fear of these flames, freedom from fear of what will or will not remain……

    …I pray for us both, Freedom….

  6. Erin Butson on July 16, 2010 at 2:20 am

    I love the metaphor you've created for us people pleasers. It's such a perfect picture. I too want to be free to speak my mind and not worry about taking care of others emotions. to feel what i feel andlet others do the same, but it is a constant effort. iam reading Codependent No More right now and it is rocking my world + really helping me right now. Thank you for all of your encouragement+ sweet, sweet comments!

  7. Butterfly Works on July 16, 2010 at 7:28 pm

    I am so glad I came to your blog today…..What a gifted writer you are and able to hit the nail on the head of what so many women are dealing with today…You are such an encouragement as you share your heart…and yes there will be new trees that come from the pinetree seeds but new birth always requires pain….You are not alone my friend…lots of us are in the forest with you as well as the ONE that really counts……

    Hugs and blessings

  8. Patricia on July 17, 2010 at 9:18 pm

    Well, Jennifer, I can associate with being a people pleaser. Been their most of my life and been struggling for a while to get out of the mold.. it is hard to love yourself enough to let others be where they are at and let me be me with out worrying about how they will take it.. I want to be free, spread my wings or just sit on a branch in the beauty that I am. I also pray for all women who struggle to be free to be the gift God uniquely made us. Blessings

  9. LeeAnn on July 20, 2010 at 10:12 pm

    YOU are amazing Jennifer! You say so much in a few paragraphs that would take me months to try to explain from my soul. Gifted you are my dear!

    So understand the "people pleaser" thing well. I'd be curious to know if you are a firstborn child? I am and have read how the firstborns tend to grow up with the people pleaser gene syndrome.

    Lee Ann

  10. Relyn on July 27, 2010 at 9:46 pm

    Sing. Yes, sing. That's my heart's truest word. I sing for the joy of being alive. I sing to praise my maker. I sing when I am happy. When I am sad. When I pray. When I cry. When I laugh. I do love to sing.

    (Obviously this art spoke to me.)

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