I know I’ve lost my creative voice when writing makes me cringe. When I feel it choking the life out of my artistry. Leaving me to sit as an empty cup without any creative juice left. That’s a massive problem – since my ultimate passion lies at the very heart of getting my thoughts out of my head and translating them into words. When the act of writing depletes my energy and has me doubting my abilities, I tend to succumb to a minor breakdown.

When you’re extraordinarily passionate for something, and come to feel extreme resentment towards that very thing you’re passionate for, it almost feels like losing a part of yourself. To feel this way with writing forces me to look at the shadows I’d rather not focus on. But I have to dissect, examine and understand what’s not working in the moment.

Whenever I have these clogged moments that hang heavy on my mind, I have to come to terms with myself. I’m not writing from the heart. A little lesson on artistry that I’ve recently learned: you cannot be inauthentic. It just doesn’t work, unfortunately. There’s something about letting loose your creative talent and offering it to the world that must remain concurrent with your emotions – which indicate who you really are. Emotions come from the heart. The heart is the place from which the deepest and most meaningful messages can be translated from. All artists – which, by the way is every single person that exists – communicate their messages from the heart. Which is why, when an artist who is passionate about what they create begin to fall out of congruence with their true voice, they feel lifeless in their efforts.

It’s a horrible feeling. It’s the ultimate barrier that thwarts us from being able to convey our artistry. For myself, it instills a sickening fear that I’m not worthy of anything because I cannot write from the heart – my true voice.

This not only applies to artists. Even though every one of us is a creator, we must take into account how we deal with day-to-day affairs through being true to ourselves. It is fatally easy to fall into the trap of appealing to others. We do everything we can – including disowning our own self – for the sake of being accepted by anyone, really. Obviously, there are some out there who we seek to gain more approval from than others.

The lingering questions floats over each of our lives: how much of our authentic self are we willing to sacrifice for another? The answer is really up to you. It doesn’t matter whether you’re in a situation that leaves you wondering which personality you should display (which still disowns your authentic emotions) or whether you should take that action based on another person’s wishes. It becomes more complicated at times: like if the person is someone you love and are attached to and don’t want to lose.

That’s a topic for another time. At the moment, I’m talking about self-expression. What is that? It’s pretty self-explanatory – the ability to express yourself honestly. Openly. Authentically. In a perfect world, self-expression would be to the max percentage of 100. Children know exactly who they are until they reach the level of external confrontation. When other people from outside themselves infiltrate their sense of self, through socialization, telling a child how they should be in the world rather than what they want to be, it creates dissonance. A growing gap is made between the child’s wants and others’ weighing expectations. So can the child let their sense of self override the demeaning judgements and dictations of their external influences?

The problem is, children can’t yet understand threats on their individual self. They haven’t yet formed enough conviction and integrity to remain true to themselves (because honestly, in the perfect world, we shouldn’t even have to stand up for ourselves). From there the process goes: dissonance between their authentic expression and others’ expectations, continuous pressure exerted from others’, then disconnecting from their true identity to follow societal standards. It happens to everyone of us. It’s rare – extremely so – to find a person who hasn’t gone through this detachment stage. We’ve all, at one point in time, disowned our true self. The most painful part is realizing far later on that the life we’ve lived in accordance with those higher expectations and standards – which deviate from our own personal truth – has been duplicitous. To ourselves. Deceitful to others. Most of all, detaching from our true selves leads to a loss in our artistry.

I’ve come to discover that being an artist is what makes the world beautiful. By expressing your creative glow, you’re adding your own version of beauty through embellishing what’s already been created. You add your own flavor, your own colors, your own uniqueness to an ever-expanding world. We need both the mechanics and the beauty for life to function. We use our brains to analyze, dissect, build, intellectualize and discover. It’s the mechanics within the creations. And what comes from the heart is what adds the colorful picture, the eye-capturing and thought-provoking cover.

There has to be intelligence to create a plant’s structure. And then there has to be artistry to create the resplendence of it’s bloom. And that’s who we all are, deep inside, while the world relies solely on the mechanics of things.

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