Reclaiming Your Creative Passion 1

Written by on April 29, 2012 in The Healing Journey with 9 Comments

How can we lose something that is such a part of our being? And yet we can, and when we place ourselves in situations that drain our very soul, we do.

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)

Support the Work of Love

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About the Author

About the Author: Demian Yumei, author, singer/songwriter and artist activist, uses spoken, written word and original songs in her human rights activism. "For the Sake of Love” is her collection of songs written on Demian's healing journey, and “Little Yellow Pear Tomatoes” is a children’s book she wrote for her daughter about the interconnectedness of life published by Illumination Arts and endorsed by Jane Goodall. Currently, Demian is working on recording episodes for her podcast and writing on the "Where There's Smoke Series on Covert Abuse". .

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  1. Paula Clark says:

    I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. Is it really possible to reclaim it? I try to wrap my head around the creative things I used to do. They have been gone for so many years

  2. Demian Yumei says:

    I understand, Paula. I’m still recovering mine. I do believe that because creativity is a part of who we are, it’s in there. For some of us it may have lain dormant for so long for a variety of reasons it’s almost as if it’s dead. But it can be revived.

    I find the more time I carve out for myself, the more I allow elements that are conducive to creativity, like play and imagination, the closer I get to touching those lost parts of my self.

    One thing that might be important is not to compare yourself to where you used to be. It’s one thing to be mindful of your talents, of what you know you possess inside, but you have to be careful not to compare or you may find yourself quitting before you’ve even begun.

    I’ve been doing more and more writing lately. Lots of stops and go’s. But I’ve done very little musically. I know I don’t have the vocal strength or range like I used to. Maybe I never will again…don’t know. But I do know that I have to be patient and develop my voice with what I have now, being willing to accept it for the path it must take as I am for me.

    Perhaps the most essential part of this whole process is not so much meeting the standards of yesterday, but the doing of it in the present moment…taking those first steps to honor the creative process within you, and seeing where it takes you.

  3. Jill Eisnaugle says:

    I’ve gotten back to my writing more and more recently and I’m finding it so, so soothing. Sometimes, it stirs emotions or discussion about him, but the discussions educate and help me to let it out and let it go too. All I know is if my story in a current writing contest holds for 3 weeks and wins, I’ll cry buckets when they call me to tell me. After this year, the tears would be so worth it.

  4. Demian Yumei says:

    It’s fantastic you entered, Jill. That’s a huge step for so many. Keep writing and keep creating. You are worth the effort 🙂

  5. The Path To Peace-Recovery From Psychopathic Manip says:

    I use to sing….I had such a pretty voice. My ex us to compare me…I stopped singing. Altogether. Just stopped…he killed that spirit of mine with his comparisons and it never left me. I sing to myself now, but even when I do, it’s very quietly and my vocal cords do not work the way they use too. This part of losing me, has made me feel very sad because music and voice, singing…use to be healing to me…

  6. Lisa Gilhuijs-Pederson says:

    Kelli…..your vocal cords do not work the way they used to because your soul doesn’t yet dare to use them the way it used to. When you find your soul again, the singing will be just as beautiful as before. Trust me.

  7. Felicia Gaddy Corona says:

    I love too paint and draw, I am a artist, and very Good at it… But Like evryone else I dont feel it. I use too feel so happy when I painted,, I was called to do a Job for Alflac last year, And do you Know the whole time this man would cut me down during the project… After I was finished and a couple of weeks later, he said Did She call you and tell you what she thought? I said no, But this lady is hard too please and everyone hates doing work for her because she is so picky,, and if she didnt like it she would have called… He said,,, She didnt like it and thats why you will never hear back from her… He said I bet you fucked that wall up, and he laugh…. Hurt My feelings bad, but I left it alone…. A month later the house keeper called and said Felicia Lisa needs you too come and do some touch up,,, When I got there I seen Lisa and she said Felicia I love my Walls, they are so pretty…. I rubbed that shit in his face… Bastard….I dont mean too curse Im sorry but when I think about his mean words it makes me mad, He wanted to hurt me, for some reason.. I will never know why, But thank God he is not important and what he saids is not important…Like yapping DOG..

  8. Demian Yumei says:

    Fellicia, “Like a yapping DOG…” LOL! That’s great. Exactly.

  9. Demian Yumei says:

    I agree with Lisa, that’s part of it. Singing does open up a big piece of your soul, and there’s a lot of pain in it, and we have been so long separated from it by the trauma and abuse.

    Thank you, Lisa…I appreciate the confidence and assurance in your words “Trust me”. You speak as someone who knows, and I choose to trust you in your experience. It gives me hope.

    As much as we feel separated or torn apart from our soul, the truth of the matter is we can never truly be separated from it in reality. Our soul exists…and so does our song. We can find it again.

    Kelli, another reason is shear fatigue. Your body is your instrument, but if you are chronically fatigued, your vocal chords will not be exempt. I am trying to take better care of myself. I don’t dare go into full fledged singing now, because I fear I would damage my already fatigued vocal chords. So I’m working on building my physical health up, trying to be more mindful of getting sleep, and stuff like that.

    And while processing the past, taking the time to be in the present moment where there is no past and no future, but only now. In that stillness of the now, I can nurture myself in Spirit. To just be.

    Humming or singing quietly to oneself is a good way to slowly warm up your chords and slowly build their strength back up. If that’s all you can do, it is enough. 🙂 As you take care of your body, as you take care of yourself, and as your soul finds its own voice again, you will find yours.

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