How the healing power of creativity saved my life
Creativity exists in all human beings innately, naturally and is an essential component to developing a healthy mind. In this world, full of compromise, during our developmental stages, a child’s ingenuity, adventurous curiosity, and experimental nature flows freely and without inhibition. In later years, as we grow, many teenagers, as well as adults, becomes so wrapped up in self-doubt, as well as low self-esteem they forget how good it felt to let their spirit roam, and create something simply for the sake of being creative.
What happens along the way that causes so many of us to stop believing in our self-worth? When a lack of self-esteem develops, it often turns into depression and finally into an attitude of self-doubt.
Creativity saved my life, many times over and for as long as I can remember. Creativity also became my life. I discovered very early on as a little girl, when I was feeling down I would allow negative thoughts to enter my mind. One thing led to another, and before I knew it I was listening to a little voice in my head that was telling me I didn’t measure up to expectations. What triggers this kind of destructive self-talk can be any number of different daily experiences. A bad day at school or work, an argument with your spouse or another family member, or possibly an event as simple as discovering you’ve been left out of a social gathering in your community of friends. The cause is not significant, events are external happenings, and they are not a part of who you are as a person. I had to learn that unpleasant occurrences, which happened around me, should never be internalized and allowed to influence what I thought of myself. Learning to focus on an idea, and directing my energy towards developing that idea, is a very effective method of self-esteem building.
For me, the best antidepressant, and positive thought-provoking activities are painting or writing. Both forms of creativity require a great deal of soul-searching in order for me to be able to express myself. The process is very healing emotionally, and at the same time it allows me to divert my focus away from adversity or disappointments.
I am very grateful that during my youth, despite the turmoil I experienced, somehow I remained able to hang on to my artistic spirit.