Updated: Jun 7
Tyler Lockett, a wide receiver for the Seattle Seahawks – might not mean much to you if you’re not into American Football. But, by the end of this book review maybe you’ll know him a little better.
Reflection is an inspiring read. Tyler Lockett desires for everyone to be able to be themselves and not feel they have to live up to someone else’s expectations.
There’s a lot of pressure on young people (especially) to cultivate a certain image through behaviour, fashion and music etc. Seems to me there’s little room for individuality or space to think for yourself. So, if you don't behave or dress in a particular way, you may be considered uncool, not trendy and so on. We need to release young people to be themselves – to be the individuals that they are as long as it’s not destructive.
It’s refreshing to hear Tyler challenge myths and stereotypes. He really is a light in the darkness. His poetry gets to the heart of relationships, tries to bind up wounds, soothe souls and sends the reader back out there determined to do better, think better of themselves and others. Reflection has many helpful exercises and notes to self at the end of each poem.
One of his poems in the book, ‘Lose Yourself’ is about the pressures of living up to other people’s expectations of ourselves. It begins with:
'You aint gotta be in prison to know that you are in a prison'
In the note to self at the end, he poses this question:
‘What good is it to achieve so much in life if I can’t even be myself? Why am I worried about living up to people’s expectations? People lose themselves trying to please others. If I live to please others, then I’m never going to be free. And I’m tired of living in a prison’. Amen to that.
The pandemic has brought anxiety issues to the fore and it is great that more people are open to talking about mental health generally.
In ‘The Monster I created’ Tyler says that if we create anxiety, we can destroy it and gives the readers strategies that may help. In my opinion he handles the topic with sensitivity and brutal honesty. I hope you’ll get your hands on a copy of Reflection – I guarantee it’ll get you thinking and you’ll be able to relate to something he says.
Kudos to Tyler Lockett for sharing his thoughts and by so doing, permitting others to do the same.
Let me leave this thought with you:
If a mountain was smooth, you couldn’t climb it. Nothing worth anything comes easily. Imagine life is a flight to an unknown destination. Some people will experience a smoother flight than others who experience turbulence. But a turbulent free ride is no measure of happiness because struggle can lead to endurance, character and hope. Struggle can make us more appreciative and grateful when we finally arrive at our desired destination.
My advice: Never give up, you are fearfully and wonderfully made … that’s the gospel truth!