I feel like I have been working on this challenge forever! I didn’t do 30 days consistently because of my schedule, so I guess that’s why it’s been so drawn out. But it sure has been a fun ride!
A problem I’ve had that’s really been brought to the forefront lately is that I have no damn clue how to express myself anymore. I used to fancy myself a writer and somehow that all dropped off. I found myself unable to say what I meant anymore. It all sounded cartoon-like and basic. Nothing really captured how I was feeling at the moment, and honestly I’m not sure if I knew (or know) what I’m feeling at the moment.
When I started dabbling in Buddhism, it really brought a lot to light about creativity and made me want to start trying again. Even though the desire has been there, I still feel some kind of block. Occasionally I am able to capture the essence of what I’m trying to say, but those moments are fleeting.
I’ve begun to attribute some of it to laziness. I guess part of me doesn’t feel like my audience is large enough for it to matter (which is bullshit, because even if it is just for me, I should be able to express myself). Part of it is a physical problem of my eyes and head hurting so I have to stop thinking and looking so hard. Never in my life have I needed naps like I do lately. I don’t think the swing shifts help at all. Some of it is just because I’ve tried so hard for so long not to feel. My feelings had been invalidated by so many people for so long, I guess I just decided to retreat from them and try to pretend like they aren’t there. I’ve gotten really good at it. So good, in fact, that more often than not I don’t feel anything particular about anything that happens. I don’t really get overwhelmingly happy or sad anymore because I don’t see the use in it. Being sad doesn’t fix anything and being happy usually ends up being a letdown. “Feelings are bullshit” has pretty much been my motto since the age of 21 or so.
I feel like I know what I want to say, and I understand certain concepts very deeply, but I don’t know how to express that understanding to someone else. I feel like others are so caught up in their own problems, many of which they are only making harder for themselves, that they don’t want to fix it. People live for drama, so instead of sharing their feelings and working things out, they find ways to keep themselves stuck. It started with a few people and trickled down to the rest of us, and now those of us who have no interest in being there struggle to find a way out. It’s hard to be happy in this world when you share your happiness only to be met by “Well it must be nice” or “How can you be happy about that? You’re just going to ruin your life” or “What if it doesn’t work out?” Well guess what…Life doesn’t always work out, but it shouldn’t stop any of us from living it to the fullest. If it doesn’t work out, I’ll deal with it. I’m not asking you or anyone else to deal with it for me. I. Will. Deal. With. It. Head on, without apology. I don’t need people to take pity on me when something doesn’t work out. I just need them to help me cultivate my strength. That takes zero effort.
So often everyone wants to meddle in the lives of others instead of simply sharing in it. It is stifling creativity. People are so afraid to show their true selves because they don’t want to deal with the aftermath of others. I feel like at some point this all has to come full circle and eventually we will all have to support each other because the world will be falling down around us. It’s already there, look at all of the suicides lately. This is a relatively new issue. I mean people have committed suicide for years, but the numbers lately are staggering. Not to mention it seems to be people that no one would have guessed. People who have “everything”, fame, fortune, loving families, money, ect. It’s obvious that those things aren’t what matters, yet those are the things so many people are clinging to in this day and age.
We should be able to express ourselves freely and accept the feedback we receive as well. Surely putting our feelings out there in a creative way is setting ourselves up to hear things we don’t want to hear. The key is knowing how to filter those things. We need to know how to filter ourselves and how to filter others. Constructive criticism can be great, but we need to know where the line is. You can say “that style of sweater isn’t my favorite” without saying “that sweater makes you look like a fat slob”. You can have either of those comments directed at you and choose how to take them as well. Some people would take the first comment very personally, but it is just a reflection of their own mind. Why are you wearing the sweater? Because you like it, or to impress someone else? If you like it, wear it. Not everyone will like it. If you’re upset because someone doesn’t like it, maybe you need to reevaluate your own motives. As for the second comment, again, do you like the sweater? Do you think it makes you look like a fat slob? If not, then you need to look at the source. Does this person’s opinion matter? Why are they telling you this? Maybe it’s jealousy, or maybe they just don’t like it and don’t know how or when to keep their mouth shut. Either way, it’s not about you. And if you do think it makes you look like a fat slob, why did you put it on in the first place? People aren’t obligated to like you and you aren’t obligated to bow down to them either. You need to be comfortable in your own presence.
It seems like I got a little off topic there, but in reality I didn’t. It’s this kind of comfort in ourselves that leads to our expression of creativity. If we are comfortable with ourselves outside of the feelings of others, we can express fully and not care what others think, but at the same time, we can be sensitive to others and not say things simply to be hurtful. Just because you can say and do whatever you want doesn’t mean that’s the right thing to do. It’s important to understand your own motivations. You may not understand the motivations of others, but that’s why you can’t take what other people say too seriously. Listen to others, but form your own opinion. What are we so afraid of?
I’ve been trying to practice getting out of my comfort zone in order to widen it. I’ve been trying to dive deep into my own motivations and why certain things tend to bother me. I’ve been trying to throw off my fears of what others might think, because the truth is, they don’t control me, I do. In time, I feel that my creativity might make its way back. I can feel bits and pieces of it coming back from time to time, and that spark might be just what it needs. I feel like a lot of good people have had their light snuffed out as they have joined the masses, and I refuse to let my light be dimmed. We all have something to give in this life, and it stems from our creativity, however that is presented. We can all do a better job of putting ourselves out there, and we can start by letting others know that it’s ok for them to put their own selves out there. We can’t do this alone, only together.