Friday, 8 April 2011

Do what you love to undo what you hate + CD giveaway!

Who am I to want happiness in such a hurting world? 

Have you ever asked yourself this? I certainly have. It's always more subtle though, and usually feels less like a philosophical discussion and more like a nagging guilt. Who am I to want to write books and flourish creatively when 5,000 children are dying per day of diarrhea-related illness? (It's true.) Who am I to want more than what I already have when I already have more, materially, than 90% of the world? Who am I to want to surround myself with beautiful things when there is so much ugly in the world? A professional background in communicating global-poverty issues gives me plenty of ammunition for guilt.

I know I'm not the only one who's felt this. I've seen friends stay in bad relationships because they felt that asking for happiness would be too much. I've known plenty of people to stay in jobs that suck the life out of them because they felt they couldn't leave a "good" job. I should just be lucky to have a job in this economy, right? (Great post by Laura on Stratejoy about this, by the way.)

It's a constant dance between tending to your heart and living in your strengths and the sacrifice necessary for collective responsibility to a world that has quite a lot of need.

Jennifer Louden, a writer based on Bainbridge Island who I've come across recently, calls this intersection the sweet spot, and has committed to pursuing that sweet spot for a year on her Savor and Serve website. Check it out!

Some more amazing people to check out are Curtis and Grace Romjue. They are the founders of Jubilee, an abolitionist band (beach town folk rock, to be specific) that encourages their fans to take action on modern-day slavery. (You can read my husband's review of their album launch concert for KEXP here).  They're the first band also officially registered as a 501(c)3 nonprofit, giving a portion of all their income to an organization (International Justice Mission) that works to fight human trafficking around the world. I love the way they describe the sweet spot of engagement. They call their guilt-free, compassion- and passion-driven work as "thrive activism". Love it! They also coined a phrase that I wish I came up with:

Do what you love to undo what you hate.

It's not just "do what you and forget everyone else". But it's also not "undo what you hate, even if you're miserable". It's about finding the convergence.

It's Friday. I'm in Seattle's Belltown doing a few choice activities that I love (drinking coffee, reading and writing!) and thought I'd give a bit of weekend encouragement. I also thought I'd do a CD giveaway.

If you want a chance to win Jubilee's new album, To See You Well, just leave a comment below, somehow, however loosely, related to the idea of doing what you love to undo what you hate. If you put it on twitter or facebook and tell me, you'll get even more chances to win. I'll draw the winner next Friday. Woo hoo!

**Update, using, I've drawn the winner: Joanna! I'll get this to you today and thanks for entering. 


Jessica said...

I love this post Lish! Andrew & I think/talk/pray about this a lot. (We were just talking about IJM too- we love that organization, so cool that the band gives money to them!!)

I am really thankful that Wild Poppy has worked out- I feel like for me as a stay at home mama with a passion to create this is my way to do what I love with a purpose higher than just makin' some money. Sacrifice is good, stretching, needed to live out the kind of life I desire in Christ. But the joy that follows is richer and deeper than any happiness we can muster on our own. I have a choice to do something, or to feel overwhelmed that my little something is just a tiny drop in the bucket of need- I'd much rather choose to do something and let God turn it into what He will.

Thanks for your thought inspiring posts friend, love your heart!

Nadine said...

Beautiful post. I've been guilty of this: I've known plenty of people to stay in jobs that suck the life out of them because they felt they couldn't leave a "good" job.

Hoping I'll be able to find a job I love soon.

Bob said...

"Don't ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive." --Howard Thurman

alisha said...

Bob, I love that quote too and was thinking about it when I wrote this.

Nadine, I'm hoping you'll find that job you love as well. It's funny how that is much harder than you'd think, but you'll get there. :)

Jess, I'm so glad you have Wild Poppy for your outlet and get the chance to do what you love to undo what you hate through that!

Anonymous said...

Hi Lish
I like this phrase on the subject as well, "Jesus only did what he saw his Father doing". That is, being in tune with what God is doing and his direction in your life leads you to best fit solutions...
Like ground troops communicating with air forces overhead: a higher perspective informing them of the best possible way to move.
I guess the script. that says it best is: "obedience is better than sacrifice".
An interesting aspect of this subject

Joanna Roddy said...

I just backspaced over a long, LONG comment about the sweet spot in relationships. I'll summarize instead. I want to find the sweet spot in relationships where the other person is the one without freedom, health, and true joy. How do we engage and fight for life and freedom without accepting and participating in the unlife and unfreedom in the other person? Especially when the other person doesn't want to be free. Maybe this is the conundrum of what it means to really show God's love in this world.

alisha said...

Great questions and comments!

Claire Carey said...

This is a great post, Alisha. I don’t know what the balance is of finding that sweet spot, but you are a source of encouragement in this area to pursue it with great joy and vigor.

I long to be present, right now, even as I wait on the opportunities that I am hopeful will come. I don’t want to miss the joy of this season, even if it looks so unlike what I think I want. I don't want to miss the people that are in my life right now or the challenges.

I think there are times to run towards freedom, towards creativity, towards adventure, and other times when it is time to dig down deep into the roots of soul freedom (cleaning out old wounds or stubborn spots).

Wisdom is knowing when it is time to run and when it is time to dig.

Thanks for a thought-provoking post! :)

alisha said...

Claire, that's a good phrase: Wisdom is knowing when it's time to run and when it's time to dig deep. That's a good nugget of wisdom. :)

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