Thursday, June 15, 2017

Poisonous Playmates - Artist's Way/Week 2 – Recovering a Sense of Identity

What are Poisonous Playmates? 

"Not surprisingly, the most poisonous playmates for us as recovering creatives are people whose creativity is still blocked. Our recovery threatens them. As long as we were blocked, we often felt that it was arrogance and self-will to speak of ourselves as creative artists. . . . Your blocked friends may still be indulging in all these comforting self-delusions. If they are having trouble with your recovery, they are still getting a payoff from remaining blocked. Perhaps they still get an anorectic high from the martyrdom of being blocked or they still collect sympathy and wallow in self-pity. Perhaps they still feel smug thinking about how much more creative they could be than those who are out there doing it. These are toxic behaviors for you now. Do not expect your blocked friends to applaud your recovery. That’s like expecting your best friends from the bar to celebrate your sobriety. How can they when their own drinking.

Blocked friends may find your recovery disturbing. Your getting unblocked raises the unsettling possibility that they, too, could become unblocked and move into authentic creative risks rather than bench-sitting cynicism. Be alert to subtle sabotage from friends. 

You cannot afford their well-meaning doubts right now. Their doubts will reactivate your own. Be particularly alert to any suggestion that you have become selfish or different. (These are red-alert words for us. They are attempts to leverage us back into our old ways for the sake of someone else’s comfort, not our own.) 

Blocked creatives are easily manipulated by guilt. Our friends, feeling abandoned by our departure from the ranks of the blocked, may unconsciously try to guilt-trip us into giving up our newly healthy habits. It is very important to understand that the time given to morning pages is time between you and God. You best know your answers. You will be led to new sources of support as you begin to support yourself. Be very careful to safeguard your newly recovering artist. 

Often, creativity is blocked by our falling in with other people’s plans for us. We want to set aside time for our creative work, but we feel we should do something else instead. As blocked creatives, we focus not on our responsibilities to ourselves, but on our responsibilities to others. We tend to think such behavior makes us good people. It doesn’t. It makes us frustrated people. The essential element in nurturing our creativity lies in nurturing ourselves. 

Through self-nurturance we nurture our inner connection to the Great Creator. Through this connection our creativity will unfold. Paths will appear for us. We need to trust the Great Creator and move out in faith. Repeat: the Great Creator has gifted us with creativity. Our gift back is our use of it. Do not let friends squander your time. Be gentle but firm, and hang tough. 

The best thing you can do for your friends is to be an example through your own recovery. Do not let their fears and second thoughts derail you. Soon enough, the techniques you learn will enable you to teach others. Soon enough, you will be a bridge that will allow others to cross over from self-doubt into self-expression. 

For right now, protect your artist by refusing to show your morning pages to interested bystanders or to share your artist date with friends. Draw a sacred circle around your recovery. Give yourself the gift of faith. Trust that you are on the right track. You are. As your recovery progresses, you will come to experience a more comfortable faith in your creator and your creator within. You will learn will that it is actually easier to write than not write, paint than not paint, and so forth. You will learn to enjoy the process of being a creative channel and to surrender your need to control the result. You will discover the joy of practicing your creativity. The process, not the product, will become your focus. Your own healing is the greatest message of hope for others.

(Excerpt from Cameron, Julia. The Artist's Way (Kindle Locations 1092-1095). Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition)

Do you have friends who are jealous of your creative work? Do you avoid them?

Right now I can't think of anyone like that but for many years I had people in my life like that especially other decorators who were very jealous of my career.
- How did you get that job.
- I am jealous of you.
- You are so lucky

I had a best friend how was jealous of my career, looks and age.  She was even jealous of my other friends and husband.  And somehow I felt like I needed her and felt lost without her.  But I feel like I have moved past that part of my life.

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