How to be creative

“How do I become a creative genius?” I ask myself this question every morning when I wake-up. Ha. Just kidding; but I do ask myself this question sometimes. Maybe not the genius part, but I do ask the “How do I become more creative?” question. The last year has taught me that becoming more creative happens in the process of coming to understand. The last year has revealed to me how blind I am to my limits – the ones that are, and are good, and then the superficial, illusory ones that I impose on myself and allow others to impose on me (the ones I, to my chagrin, impose on my neighbors).

I find that I’m motivated by two very different desires in my quest for creative – the first, more depressing desire (I’ll say it first to get it over with) is for others to exalt me in recognition of how awesome I am. Ugh. Such a wish that will take me on a long journey with, from what I imagine, a lonely end.

The other desire, the one I want to move from, the one I think will actually enable me, free me, unchain me from “myself” to create as creatively as I was created by the most creative Creator to do, is just a simple aspiration to express me – all the ins and outs, all the ups and downs of my journey. I long to express myself in a way that unites me to my community. But to actualize this vision I have of human connection, a vision built from intimate experiences with God, with family, with close, close friends, I must be able to embrace diversity – all the shapes, colors, sizes, all the ideas that sometimes excite, and sometimes offend. What I don’t mean: I don’t mean laying down the offense of the cross. That would be to loose everything. This is the one offense I will always and forever keep. Indeed, it is my foundation for forgiveness, for love of God, love of myself, and love of others. I’m thinking John 17 and 1 Corinthians 12.

Romans 12, somewhere in the middle, speaks of rejoicing with those who rejoice and weeping with those who weep; right after this verse, Paul exhorts the Romans to “Live in harmony with one another.” But men rejoice, and women weep, and some fume in anger, and some sway with exhaustion, then still others feel the tingle of irritability crawling up and down their spines. How do we live in harmony? I think it’s connected to how we learn to live creatively. We learn to embrace the diversity of ourselves and the diversity of others – personalities, opinions, emotions, etc…

Eliot writes in his poem Burnt Norton (part of the four quartets) that men cannot handle too much reality. How I resonate with this observation, both in my personal experience and in my own observations; yet, at the same I long for, and have great hope to grow to a greater capacity to handle much more reality than I can today, at a mere 22 years of age.


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