Anyone can claim to be a writer and, in my book, anyone who writes on a regular basis is a writer. It is nice if someone recognizes the writer in us, but our status as writers is not dependent on that recognition. Likewise, we are writers whether or not we have been published. Of course getting published is nice, very nice. Yet being a writer comes from a place deep inside that must be acknowledged, a part of us that says we must write.
Last week, I met a young woman from my Celebrate Recovery (CR) small group at a coffee shop to help her with a project for a college class. (CR is a twelve-step program for dealing with life’s hurts, habits, and hang-ups with Jesus Christ as our Higher Power). We worked for about 2 ½ hours reviewing some articles from scholarly journals and putting the ideas into her words.
When we were almost done, I asked why she thought to call me. Her answer, I admit, surprised me. It shouldn't have. She said, "Because you are a writer." Duh! I don’t know what I expected. To be regarded as a writer by someone is a really nice compliment. It is the recognition we long for, but so rarely comes (especially to those of us who have newly declared ourselves to be writers). But as I think about it, recently others have asked for help with their writing/teaching.
Why now? Or why am I noticing now? I think it is because in living in the present, I'm focusing on the possibilities, not the problems, focusing on thriving and not just surviving. The resulting confidence is attractive to others. Not being too needy leaves us better able to meet another’s needs. We may still struggle with our issues, our old ways of thinking and coping, but those things, day in and day out, do not absorb us.
That's a huge change in thinking. Maybe the biggest change since allowing Jesus Christ to take care of the messiness of life. To summarize the change I remember what one therapist said to me, “Stop thinking like a victim and be a victor!” Sounds like “thrive versus just survive” to me.