Our creative passion can help us to hold on to what is true within us. In the midst of usury and abuse, we can turn our focus inward and let it escape outward in song, in poetry and color and form. Our creative passion can be as a buttress to that which weighs us down, a fortress in which we seek refuge.
But fortresses are to protect those who need it, and onslaughts wear down the strongest walls. Eventually, your creativity as protection will need to be so fortified that it no longer flows, and creativity that does not flow isn’t creativity at all. It can no longer protect you.
There are all kinds of ways to die. One doesn’t have to die to one’s body. When you die to your dreams, to your creative spark, that is a kind of death.
I remember waking up as a little kid in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, and seeing my mother hunched over the kitchen table painting. That image of her lost in her world of art, creating what she would call her goddesses, will always stay with me.
I never asked why she didn’t paint during the day. Even though we never spoke of it, I sensed, even at that early age, that her art was something she had to steal time for. Funny, how I never made the connection of my getting up in the middle of the night to write with my own mother’s rising in the dark to paint.
My mother’s creative passion gave her life, somehow held her through all the years of mental and emotional abuse from my father. But the lack of support and the constant tearing down of her worth as a human being drew more and more life out of her, so that eventually, not even her painting could save her. And she could no longer save her painting.
Your creative passion is the expression of your soul, the vehicle through which your spirit can dance. While it can be a mighty protection against the things that wear you down, it’s not meant to be a bunker for you to hide in. And it too, in time, will wear down…until perhaps, one day you lose it.
And then what will you do?
After being on my own for years now, I find I am still reclaiming the creative pieces of my self. I could not see how much I was losing until I started looking for it.
Some people create beautifully in adversity. I have. The arts is a wonderful way to express your deepest feelings, a release for your emotions. Some of the most beautiful works of art come out of sorrow.
But covert abuse isn’t just sorrow. It doesn’t just break your heart. It goes straight for the jugular, and you bleed out. It saps you of the life force that makes your heart beat — your creative heart and eventually, perhaps, your physical one.
Creative passion comes from deep within. It takes the skills of discipline and study to refine and shape that passion into an art form, but the spirit of it — the inspiration, the muse, as it were — comes from the same place your soul dwells. It’s speaks truth, even when you can’t.
Covert abuse, attacks your soul.
I continued to create while I was in my covert abuse relationship, because I had to. To me it was like breathing and my desire to survive was strong. But it was a struggle.
I did not see, at that time, how the battle for my creativity was actually distancing me from my creativity. I spent more time defending my right to create than actually doing it. Until one day, I wasn’t creating at all…and what’s worse, I didn’t have it in me to try.
In just one year’s time after I left and was on my own, I finally completed a project I had started and struggled to work on for over a decade.
For accuracy sake, I cannot say it was all sabotage. Just the very nature, the dynamics of covert abuse, itself, kills creative passion. When you’re in a covert abuse relationship, the mind games, the manipulation, the lies, the anxiety and stress, the heartbreaks, and the tears will burn up your energy — all of it, including your creative energy.
If you are in an abusive relationship, do not give up on your creative passion. It’s more important than you realize. Create the space, claim the time you need to nourish and express this essential part of who you are. But understand the toll this fight, and it will be a fight, will take on you.
I believe it is far better for your creativity to liberate yourself from an abusive relationship, because it’s far better for you, for your health, for your peace of mind. There is no separation here. Creative passion is not what you do or have. It’s who you are.
I’m learning to honor myself now. I’m not just writing a book. I’m not just writing for other people. I am writing for myself. I am writing for my life.
It’s part of my recovery, a reclaiming of what was lost, stolen and even thrown away.
Because without my creativity I’m dead. ..and yet…somehow, for a long and terrible while, I had stopped breathing. I was no longer singing and no longer writing. The notes that used to jump all over the scale were just as flat-line as my emotions, my spirit. The words I used to write about idealism and hope seemed to have long abandoned my pen, and the ones that had tumbled out effortlessly onto paper, in what seemed like a previous life, now mocked me for my naivete.
Time and space is giving me the opportunity to resuscitate my creative passion, the creative artist that I am. And by doing so, I am reclaiming not only the creativity, but the idealism and the hope that is a part of creative passion.
You can’t believe in nothing and be creative.
Just the act of creating is a belief in something that is yet to come into being. Re-ignite your creativity, and you open the door to finding your faith again.
* * * * * * * *
POINTS TO PONDER
What steps do you take to protect your creative passion? What do you need to do to resuscitate your creativity?
Loss of Passion Series:
Loss of Sexual Passion (Hypo-Sexuality)
Loss of Sexual Passion (Hyper-Sexuality)
Loss of Creative Passion (Deliberate Intention)
Loss of Creative Passion (Covert Attacks)
Loss of Creative Passion (Real Support vs Self-Serving)