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Creatively Persist : Page 2 of 2

Creatively Persist

continued from page 1

Because I have erred on the side of trying to please everyone and have spent too much time worrying about what people think of me, I tend to have run-ins with bullying people in my creative and working life sometimes. As much as I wish everyone would like me, as a creative expressive person, I know this is humanly impossible. The more I become my strong creative self — the more I stand out for my efforts in the world and the more I become involved with a wide variety of people — the more I can incur criticism.

I try to get along with everyone and focus on the light I see in them — but some people are just plain unkind and unwilling to look at their part in things. I have in an over-idealistic way of spiritual seeking tried to see only the light in everyone and tried to unrealistically ignore the "dark" in hopes that it would just magically "disappear."


But as Roy Posner puts it, "The reality is that there are individuals who are ready to abuse you, and take advantage of your good nature. For example, it would particularly foolish to be self-giving towards those who harbor ill will towards you, or secretly hope to tear you down. If you extend yourself to such undeserved people, you will be surely inviting trouble."

After much writhing and resisting and railing about the interplay in my life of dark and light I have come to just meditate on why people do unkind or cruel things. Mostly it is because they refuse to look at themselves honestly and they then project their own unprocessed darkness out onto others. I have also realized that when I stand up and stand out I have to be willing to take some blows. I have come to see this a gift of learning how to build psychological strength.

The Urge to Create or Not Create

Recently I have had a dream that indicated I have a part inside of me that just wants to drop out of my creative life and disappear when the going gets rough. In my dream I had mouse colored hair! I was very meek and withdrawn. I had stopped creating and had taken a shy teenage level babysitting gig. In my dream, I was happy to disappear and not have a self.

I realized from the dream that as much as I cultivate my goals around persisting forward with my strong expressive and creative self — I also have an equal and opposite urge to not have an expressive creative self in the world. In my humanness, I get afraid. I hurt deeply. I lose my motivation. Sometimes I long to dive into the milky comfort of disappearing — of having no one know who I really am — so that I will draw no notice or contention from anyone.

Yet my soul does not want me to have mouse colored hair! As I slept last night I felt a defining movement in my soul that felt like the deepest level of persistence. It is hard to describe these movements of the soul except to say they are utterly involuntary. It felt as though the Larger Life was acting upon me — and that I could let go of control — because the movement was benevolent.

The Reconciliation of the Light and Dark Within

I "watched" the movement between the light and dark of myself all night long. I felt the battle between my two opposite pulls — the pull of my core creative strength — and the pull of the weak parts of my personality that just want to give up and disappear. All night long I felt the pull to give up and disappear and then an opposite and powerful persistent psychological power would rise up within my core to continue to strongly express myself. It was a profoundly curious feeling in my body. I was pulled back and forth between the two polarities all night long as though on a seesaw.

James Twyman explains this spiritual back and forth movement so well:

"So the question we must ask ourselves is: What needs to reconciled? Is it the way we separate ourselves from our shadows? Perhaps it's how we hide from our light. It's like a teeter totter that moves back and forth, up and down, until the reordering is complete. But in order to complete the process, we need to relax into areas of imbalance, darkness and trauma in our lives. We have to see it as a natural part of our evolution — an essential step of maturing into a whole new being where oneness is fully integrated. And to do so we need to reconcile all those diverging paths and all those seeming difficulties that make us believe we are not enough, we are not whole, or we are not loved by God."

Peter Clothier reminded me of a quote from Rumi: "Keep your eyes on the bandaged place. That's where the light enters you." In this quote, I can thank the dark and unconscious energies inside of other people that have pierced me to my core. They have helped me to heal my own darkness. In my fear of criticism I have been reticent to play the game of life. I have been afraid to take risks and to express the "wrong things." I have been afraid to live in my creative magnitude and to persist in my purpose. As I drove home from work tonight I felt a sense of reconciliation in my soul. My own internal critical voices have quieted immeasurably. I felt the quiet roar of my core strength and a deep willingness to move forward in my life. •

© Shelley Klammer, 2010. All rights reserved.

Shelley KlammerShelley Klammer is a Registered Professional Counselor and an Expressive Art Facilitator. More »