Alyssa Sellers


To Love or to Fear

Winter in the City 029I was crossing the Hawthorne Bridge, beginning a long walk along the Willamette River, when I passed an older man carrying an over-sized pack on his back and a large bible in the crook of his arm. I smiled and said, “Hello.” As he passed me he replied, “You’re beautiful.”  As the distance between us increased, I called out thank you. Then I began to cry.

It had been a VERY long time since anyone has said that to me. I hadn’t realized how much my heart needed to hear it.

This past December I wore a dress every day as a way to raise awareness and support to end human trafficking. To do this, I took pictures of myself in said dresses and posted them on social media. This activity, along with figuring out new ensembles, forced me to look at myself FAR MORE frequently than I was accustomed to and lead to an amount of emotional distress for which I was completely unprepared.

I did not believe I was beautiful. Continue reading

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A Letter to the Struggling Creatives

easter 004(In January 2013 I wrote a Facebook message to a dear friend to encourage her in her creative struggle. In March 2014 I stumbled back across it and felt as if my past self had written it for my future me. Very timey-whimey,  Doctor Who-ish. Today I want to share it with you, fellow struggling creative, with the hopes it will encourage you, too.)

I read your Facebook post yesterday and I believe the very fact that you are facing resistance is an indication that you are indeed on the right track. Have you read The War of Art? If not, you TOTALLY should. It’s short essays on the struggle for the creation of art. In it Steven Pressfield talks a great deal about Resistance. Resistance is the name he gave to the force that doesn’t want good and beautiful to exist. Resistance is the force that stops us from creating.

In times of resistance and struggle I cry out for help from the Master Creator; the one who made every good and perfect thing. Admittedly it sometimes takes me awhile to do so. Sometimes, more often than not, I’m afraid.  Continue reading

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Fascinating Rhythm

A few nights ago I video chatted with my brother and his family. My four-year-old niece, Claire, cracks me up. Over the past year, every time we video chat she says, “Auntie Lys, turn into to an apple.” Every time I reply with, “I’m sorry, Claire, I can’t turn into an apple.” To which she replies, “Well, what can you turn into?”

There was a twist during this chat because earlier Claire asked if I was fascinating. “Well, I like to think so,” I replied. “Are you fascinating, Claire?”

 “No,” she giggled, “what does it mean?”

“Well, it means that you are interesting and people want to know more about you.”

Claire & Macie ~ September 2011

So when Claire asked me what I can turn into, I said, “I can’t really turn into anything. All I can be is me, but I’m fascinating.”

“You are beautiful, Auntie Lys. You are beautiful and bright.”

“Thank you very much. Claire, you are a beautiful, bright and very fascinating girl and I love you very much.”

Children repeat what they are told. I am incredibly thankful that my niece is being told that she is beautiful and bright and funny and fascinating, and, perhaps most importantly, that she is loved.

How different would we be if we were constantly affirmed with the words of who we really are? And, even more so, if we believed them?