In the early days of this blog, I was sometimes a little bit aggressive.
At the same time I was often overly defensive.
I was exhausted and in the thick of it and feeling underappreciated and overextended and not very confident.
While one of my goals in sharing my experiences was to let other moms know that we are all often floundering, I was still comparing myself to other women, and I was often dismissing stuff other moms did or I was shaming them for taking things a little too far or doing things not for the benefit of their children but rather for keeping up with the Joneses (or attempting to completely outdo them), competing with other women, or just plain showing off.
One of the things that sent me over the edge in those early days were bento box lunches that looked like Bert and Ernie or jungle animals or whatever character was in the latest Disney movie.
I was pretty vocal about Pinteresty stuff that I felt was unnecessary or just completely ridiculous.
As you know I’m on a podcast kick, and Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversations is my favorite.
The other week I was listening to the Brené Brown episode, and, in Oprah language, I had like five thousand a-ha moments.
But I want to share the biggest one.
If you aren’t familiar with her, Brené is a professor and researcher who focuses on vulnerability, courage, and shame.
So I’m listening to this podcast, and Brené is talking about creating a life that is meaningful and has purpose. And she says “creativity has to be cultivated.”
And then she says,
“Unused creativity is not benign. It metastasizes. It turns in to grief, rage, judgment, sorrow, and shame. We are divine beings and we are by nature creative. [Creativity] gets lost along the way. It gets shamed out of us. It’s dangerous.“
We all need a creative outlet. When we don’t have one, we are like first graders confined to a desk for the entire school day, stripped of opportunities to do things we enjoy.
And then I thought about those bento box moms. I thought about the scrapbookers. I thought about everyone I’ve ever shamed, intentionally or unintentionally, consciously or unconsciously, and I thought to myself,
Hmmmm. Maybe those women had just found their creative outlet. Maybe it wasn’t about trying to outdo me. Maybe it wasn’t about me at all. Maybe it was about them. Maybe they were tapping into their unused creativity so that it didn’t turn into grief, rage, judgment, sorrow and shame.
So that’s my wake up call for you today.
Do you have a creative outlet?
If not, if it’s gotten lost along the way, if it’s been shamed out of you by your family or society or someone like, um… me,
it’s time for you to find one.
And if someone writes a shitty blog post judging whatever way it is you choose to express your creativity, well, there’s a good chance they need work on their creative outlet, too.