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Saturday, April 24, 2010


"People are often unreasonable and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.
If you are honest, people may cheat you. Be honest anyway.
If you find happiness, people may be jealous. Be happy anyway.
The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough. Give your best anyway.
For you see, in the end, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway."
Mother Teresa

Lately, I have realized that one big thing that has hindered my creative business is creativity itself. As an artist, energy flows through me and I release that energy into the pieces I create. I let each one go, a seed to the wind, to plant itself in fertile soil and take root.

But what happens when you have a creative drought? What happens when the very thing that makes you an artist goes away?

It is a crippling feeling, indeed, to have the very energy that feeds your business just dry up. For me, the drought was a long and hard one. It felt like two years of winter. Sure, I plugged along and created pieces, but I always wondered: will someone call my bluff? Because they were not always made with energy that is pure, good and true.

For each of us artists, there are bonafide periods in our lives when the creativity just dies. For me, it is usually with personal struggles like those that have haunted my life in the past year. I have been stripped bare and gone many nights to my closet sobbing. I never thought it would end. And neither did my studio.

Recently, the creative juices started to kick in again. Slowly, but surely. It reassured me that they were really there.. I was beginning to wonder if they had gone forever.

For me, I realized that this prolonged period of creative bankruptcy was a necessary part of my process. How can someone create art if their very souls are stripped down to nothing? How can someone be an artist if their emotional state is mired in torture and trauma?

What I realized, too, is that forgiveness--forgiveness of self--is an essential element to becoming a whole person and a whole artist again. We might be willing to forgive others for what they have done to us, but what about ourselves? Are we willing to extend the same unconditional love and forgiveness to our own spirits?

Recently, it dawned on me that I hadn't done that yet. I hadn't forgiven myself. Redemption of self is so important--it teaches us to be just as gentle on ourselves as we are to others. But how often do we REALLY do that? How often do the critical voices tell us that we deserve what we got coming instead of offering our tender little souls forgiveness?

Don't ask me how to forgive yourself or how long it will take. Only you know that answer.

I can only tell you that I am leading this charge up the hill of redemption so that I can be free--free of all the things that have bound me and my creativity. Free of the shackles that I put on myself and let others put on me.


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