How Creativity Heals Us and Why It’s a Gift to the World

“Creativity is the way I share my soul with the world.” ~Brené Brown

I wrote a poem today for the woman I love(d).

Just a few weeks ago, I fully believed she was the one I’d be with forever. Love forever. My heart was open so deep and wide to her. We talked about marriage and living together in the woods, making art, and being a family.

Then things got tough. We talked, we tried, we read books, jetted our intention out into the universe. But we just couldn’t keep it together.

There was so much pain. But also so much love. There were no lies; there was no betrayal. There was lots of kindness and understanding, attempts at consciousness and empathy. It was really hard, and my heart broke. But it’ll be okay. Just a very different road than I had anticipated.

After a few weeks we’ve come together again as friends. Really good friends. As she said, “I want to be the best ex-girlfriend you’ve ever had.” And so far, she is. Truly.

She challenged us to love each other as much as we can, while not being together. It’s a big ask. A deeply spiritual question that pushes boundaries of everything we think we know about who we love, why we love, and what we expect in return.

Tomorrow is the anniversary of the day we met.

As you might imagine, my poet heart is full of love, hurt, conjecture, compassion, and the mystery of it all. And that brings me to my point…

Creativity is not a luxury item.

Writing her some verses about what we had, what we dreamed and what we’ve become, helped me to clarify my thoughts and feelings. It helped me see into my own truth.

For anyone who feels compelled in any way to activate and engage with their creativity, it really is so much bigger than it appears. Here’s why…

Creativity helps us to be seen.

There are something like seven billion people running around on this planet. Whether you’re driving down the freeway, walking the streets of your city, or tapping around online, it’s easy to feel lost. To feel invisible, inconsequential. It’s a big world.

When we create something, whether it’s a one-woman show, a video animation, a poem, a song, whatever—we’re taking what’s inside of us and stepping it out. Now it can be shown or heard. Now it can be experienced, transmitted. Now it can be shared.

When it’s shared, parts of us that were once invisible, hidden, obscured, become known.

Perhaps you’ll get your fifteen minutes and become popular with the masses. More likely, it’ll be with your extended gang or just a few close people. And sometimes your creation will only be for yourself. Even if no one else checks out your work, it’ll still help you to see yourself. Become better known to yourself. Understand more deeply who you are.

This is big.

Creativity helps us to be expressed.

To be expressed simply means moving from the potential to the actual. A dancer that sits in the corner is not expressed as a dancer in that moment. A chef that heats up a can of soup is not expressed as a chef. You get the idea.

As my poetry teacher in college said, a poet is not someone with a book of poems on her desk. It’s not someone with a teaching gig or a fat resume. A poet is someone who writes poems.

This may seem pretty obvious, but it goes deep. As humans, our true potential is nearly limitless. Based on the choices we make, the chances we take, and the efforts we put in, our lives move forward in whatever trajectory we choose. We will essentially be expressed in various ways as the result of our choices.

Creativity, in whatever form we desire, helps us become who are we. Dancer, poet, entrepreneur, singer, artist, dad, friend, teacher, lover, whatever. It’s your choice. Your effort. Your path. However you choose to express becomes your life.

This is big.

Creativity helps us to heal.

There are plenty of ways to heal. You can see a therapist, dig into some meditation, go on a solo voyage around the world, talk to you pals, hit up a sweat lodge, or go on a fantastic inner journey. It’s all good. Whatever’s right for you is right for you. But there’s at least one key difference in using creativity to heal.

When we create something it moves from the internal (an idea) to the external (the expression). Unlike a meditation or a visit with the therapist, our struggles and our catharsis can now be shared.

I wrote a screenplay called PANACEA’S DREAM about a shaman and scientist who develop a pill that cures any illness. It works, but nobody really knows why.

Thematically, it’s about the duality between faith and science. This is something I’ve grappled with my whole life. But now, these questions play out through my characters. I’m healed in ways by writing this narrative because I can now integrate the separate parts of my myself. I can now see and have empathy for the skeptic within as well and the spiritualist who relies on faith alone.

Anyone who reads my screenplay or sees the movie will get some kind of benefit from it. Perhaps stir up some questions. My expression can be shared. Unlike that trip to the therapist or the sweat in the lodge.

So creativity helps us to be seen, expressed, and healed. This is fantastic! But I just recently had a bit of an epiphany and tapped into a deeper truth while talking with my old love.

Being expressed, healed, and seen is actually a service to humanity. A gift to the world.

When we are expressed, we become who we truly are.

When we are healed, we become better versions of ourselves.

When we are seen, our truth and goodness shine in the world.

And when we express, heal and shine, we help other to do the same. This is big. Really big.

Tomorrow I’m going to take my own advice. I’m going to give my old love her poem. And love her with everything I’ve got in my heart (even though we’re not together). I’m going to express, heal, and be seen in ways I cannot speak.

Creativity is not a luxury item.

About Jeff Leisawitz

Jeff Leisawitz burns with a mission—to inspire writers, artists, musicians, filmmakers, entrepreneurs (and everyone else) to amp up their creativity, heal their hearts, and shine in the world. Check out his online interactive creativity workshops and get FREE chapters of his book, Not F*ing Around—The No Bullsh*t Guide for Getting Your Creative Dreams Off the Ground here.

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  • Yeyé Agudelo Luque

    I loved this. Such a beautiful love story.

  • Jeff Leisawitz

    Thanks so much for reading. Glad you got some goodness out of it:)

  • Jeff Leisawitz

    Hi Anya~ Thanks so much for the kind note. I really appreciate it. I’m so happy to know that this touched you so deeply. Loving past the hurt is huge. I believe it opens our hearts in uncommon ways — both in ourselves and with everyone we touch. And if we can create something to share with those feelings, event better;)


  • Anya Anne Light

    Yes, Jeff, yes! One more thing: Have you ever seen the film “Her”? I think you may resonate with its message.
    Lots of love to you xo

  • Jeff Leisawitz

    i LOVE that movie! I even bought the DVD. I feel like spinning it up tonight, now that you mention it;)

    hey anya, did you sign up on my mailing list yet? hope to see you there…

  • Valerie

    This article – this is big. Thank you for writing and sharing this with the world, my heart was full of joy after reading this. Also I loved what your teacher said: a poet is not someone with a book of poems on her desk. It’s not someone with a teaching gig or a fat resume. A poet is someone who writes poems. I’ve been thinking a lot about what you wrote and it truly affected me. There’s so much kindness in your words. I was really touched. Thank you 🙂

  • Anya Anne Light

    I signed up! Thanks! You can also follow my blog if you like, about love and spirituality. Tiny Buddha is not allowing me to include the link for some reason. You can find it by typing my name, plus add a .com at the end

  • Jeff Leisawitz

    Hi Valerie! Thanks so so much for your kind words. I’m so glad you got so much goodness out of the post. That teacher blew my mind in many, many ways. She would deconstruct my metaphors way deep into the subconscious, peel way the truths in Rumi poems, and grant me words of wisdom that every 20yo should hear.

    Do you write poetry? How does it (or any other creative outlet) help you be seen, expressed and healed?

    Thanks again for taking the time to write. I really appreciate it;)

  • Valerie

    Hi Jeff! I really think everyone needs a great and inspiring teacher in their life!! I first heard about Rumi two or three years ago – so glad I discovered his wisdom.

    I do write poetry sometimes, and I draw, too. Being creative has helped me in so many ways. First of all, it‘s like a meditation. I have a very busy mind, but when I write or draw, it‘s quite, and I appreciate that. It makes me stay focused and relaxed. But most of all, I just love „creating“ something, it makes me feel passionate and to just put myself out there feels good. I used to keep my creativity to myself, but now I‘m opening up, showing poems and drawings to my loved ones. I think sometimes it puts a smile on their faces, and I like to think that not only I can be seen with my art, but it helps others to be seen as well. It‘s like when I see a picture, a drawing, a painting, or when I read a poem of someone else – I see myself, too, and the thought that creativity can help everyone (not only the creator) to be seen, expressed and healed, makes me happy.

    Have a lovely, creative day! 🙂

  • Jeff Leisawitz

    hey valerie! i LOVE rumi. so glad you turned on to his stuff. amazing, right?

    i’m so happy to hear that your poetry and drawing has helped you in so many ways, very cool. i’m so inspired by your words… wondering if i could quote you in one of my upcoming newsletters? want me to link to any of your work?

    take care. poetry on! draw on! and have a super creative and beautiful day;)


  • Valerie

    Amazing indeed!

    Of course you can quote me! I‘ll sign up to your newsletter immediately!! 🙂 Ah well I don‘t have a blog or something like that, so you can‘t link to any of it :-/ but thanks for asking :))

    Have a lovely day, can‘t wait to read more from you on your blog.


  • Jeff Leisawitz

    fantastic! thanks, valerie! you’re so quotable!

    the link to my site is in a comment below. or a few clicks away in some other direction;)

    take care. be well. talk soon… ~j