I’ve stood consistently by my belief that every human being is creative. We all have different outlets for that creativity – some outlets are more socially recognized than others. But creativity is something so deeply engrained in the human experience that it rests even in states of devastation, loss, betrayal, sadness, guilt, and shame. And actually, sometimes those are the very feelings that prompt us to pull out the most incredible parts of ourselves to give to the world.
I recently read Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert, in which she argues against the idea that you must be suffering to produce art. And I agree with her. When I was younger, I definitively believe that you had to be in a state of disrepair to create. This is because there were so many representations of the tortured artist in media and historical accounts of famous art figures.
Gilbert says that these tortured souls were able to make art despite their addictions and state of mind, not because of it. I share this belief with her now. There is no great state of martyrdom that will juice you up to write a bestselling novel. In fact, to be in a state of anguish is fabricating an obstacle for yourself to leap over during your creation process.
That said, there are times in which we may feel lost, or be impacted by other negative feelings. During this time, creativity can be used as a conduit to climb out of those states. Creativity during times of hardship can be disorienting, foreign, unnatural. Your inner critic may take the lead and pummel you with criticisms and doubt. The following are things to remember when you’re lost.
You Will Never Loss Your Creativity
There is nothing anyone can say or do to you that will take away your creativity. There is nothing that can take your creativity away. It has always been within you, and will always be within you. Every human is an incredible channel for raising the collective consciousness to a state of total love. We get muddied by our worldly experiences, which make us question our faith in one another and in ourselves. We may shake and tremble under fear and a sense of non-belonging, but creativity is the well that we can pull from that will prove the irrevocable ties we all have to one another. We share creativity, and we cannot lose it. A few bad days, months, or years will never do so much damage as to even put a dent in your incredible power to create.
Your Value Cannot Be Measured
It’s easy to fall into the trap of believing that your worth comes from a situation, from the amount of money in your bank account, from your looks, or other sources. It is not. Your value as a human being is not dependent on anything or anyone. If you have no barometer of value that you falsely enforce on yourself, you are able to create freely and without criticizing yourself for the sake of others. Own your value by meeting your own standards, and love yourself regardless of your mistakes, and you will have created a far more loving world.
When You Feel Lost, You Are Not Lost
There are moments in our lives when things don’t seem to be adding up. Maybe there’s a sense of perpetual anticipation, or a sense that you’ve taken the wrong road. If you rearrange your thoughts, you can morph anticipation into wonder, and feeling lost into exploration. The human tendency to want to continuously fast forward to the good parts gives us amnesia for the moment. The moment is where the good stuff is, and if you’re here now, you’re not lost.
You Are The Love of Your Life
I’m not trying to be (vegan) cheesy, but you genuinely are the love of your life. You travel every single winding, curving, looping, upside-down, right side up, backwards, broken, freshly paved, unmarked, toll, dirt, cement road with yourself. You’re not lost! You’re just traveling this bit and maybe your right headlight is out. Maybe you had to pull over to change a flat tire. You’re not lost. The cool thing about being the love of your life is that you can work with your thoughts, habits, and deep inner self to cultivate creativity. You never have to look outside of yourself to do this. All the tools and the inner knowing is there. Maybe you’ll meet others that bring that light to the surface. Nothing can rob you of your journey with yourself, no matter what turn it takes or how many repairs you have to make.
I’m saying every human holds the eternal thing we call creativity. We can cloak it under pain, sadness, and life circumstances, but it’s not going anywhere. We have to shed those old-school, un-useful ideas that creativity must come from anguish. That means taking accountability for loving yourself and nurturing every tiny morsel of your being. It means refusing all ideas that contradict your knowing of the utterly beautiful creative, weird, otherworldly creature you are. There is no lost, you are here.