“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 we are. 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.