Sustaining the Human Spirit

It’s been a tough year for a lot of people. It hasn’t been all that great for me but I’m thankful that I’m still able to make a living doing what I love – telling stories through still imagery and video. But it hasn’t been easy and this month in particular has truly taxed my spirit.

So how does one keep going when faced with the frustration of not getting “the job” and all the rest of the feelings that come with that – feelings of insecurity or hopelessness or worse? What does one do to rise above the negative feelings that will only lead to more negativity, anger and despair?

Yesterday was one of those days for me. Got a couple of emails that didn’t destroy me but left me pretty well bruised. For me many times my hurt manifests itself as anger – at least at first – which only makes things worse. So I try to put things in perspective and also try to understand. I try to understand why I didn’t get “the job” and use this knowledge to raise my own bar, so the next time I will land the job.
And if I’m feeling rejected on a personal level – I try to get outside myself and understand how my actions or words have affected someone else.

Sounds easy – but it’s easier said than done. Sometimes I don’t want to “understand” but rather I want to be understood. And when that doesn’t happen, I put up walls – barriers meant to protect me from being hurt again. That ends up doing more harm than good because it also prevents any positive things from entering my life. And many times those barriers that I erect give me a temporary safe haven – but end up being an empty place to be.

I am a passionate person and many times people are drawn to me because of that. I open myself up to people giving too much – too soon. People are drawn to my spirit and my strength and my ability to face my fears. They also know I’m the type of person who is there for them – they just know. A friend recently told me that during a difficult time – he knew I was there. Even though there was nothing I could do to make things right – he knew I was there and that was a comfort.

I think that pretty much sums up a basic need in all of us – to have someone we know who is there for us during the rough patches of life. I think we all need that and we all need a little understanding. If we know that or even sense that – we can get through difficult times.

Photographers are more vulnerable to bad times than most I think, because they are such independent creatures. They are usually out there doing a solo act. If they don’t have a support system in place with friends and family – they generally have a real hard time dealing with slumps.

One thing I love about working in video production is that it is a collaborative effort. You work with others and draw from their strengths. When working with the “right” group of people – it’s a wonderful thing. Even if you’re in charge and the buck stops with you – you know you have people who you can count on. That’s so important and basic to human happiness.

So when I have a bad day and I feel like my support system is non-existent – what do I do? I try to dig deep and find that inner strength in myself that others seem to find appealing and even take comfort in. And I hope I find it.

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