Creating involves risk: risk of failure, risk of exposing areas of incompetence or weakness, risk of being misunderstood. But perhaps the greatest risk in our creating is the potential for losing faith in ourselves and our very abilities. There is always the temptation to alter our understanding of the past in order to reconcile it with our present understanding of who we are. There is also the temptation to limit our engagement in the present in order to prevent our view of ourselves from being compromised. It is a perpetual shell game, and though we think we know where the pea is there is still risk and doubt involved in picking up the shell, especially when the perceived stakes are high.
“For us moderns, perhaps, fear of being ridiculous in our own eyes is the greatest shame.” Dorothy Soelle, Death By Bread Alone
I’ve been thinking a lot about this of late as I’ve been wrestling with my own creative boundaries. The need to be profound is a terrible slave master, no? Each time we artificially elevate the stakes and place our very identity on the line while creating, we place another brick in the wall that will eventually become our prison. The fear of being seen as ridiculous, wrong, improper, silly, irrelevant, etc., keeps us from following (and trusting) the very instincts that give us creative prowess.
So my ambition this week is to be creatively ridiculous. (Maybe I’ll even declare this the week of “Creative Ridiculousness.” Is that a word?) I am going to try to ignore the impulse to “protect” myself and my identity while creating. I am going to follow my creative “gut” and move, act, be and create fully and freely. Want to join me?