On Not Committing Emotional Suicide


If you have the soul of an artist, you must create art. Doesn’t matter if your art is writing, painting, photography, pottery or the art of business. You must create art because this is how you find expression in the experience of living. This is how you make sense of it all. This is how you live.

We creative beings are so hard on ourselves. We know there are others more talented, more connected, more loved and recognized. We wonder if we are fooling ourselves, wonder if we have anything to offer that hasn’t been offered before or wonder if anyone is listening. Sometimes we stop doing the very thing that joins us to the universe. We forget that what to one is a mistake, to another is magnificent. This is in the beauty of interpretation.

Ignoring our creativity is emotional suicide.

I don’t think it is any surprise that when I posted the above quote on my business Facebook page (Robin Enright) I had more hits than I’ve ever had. This really resonated with my followers. Too many of us creative types are committing emotional suicide, abandoning a ship that is not sinking despite our perception that we are taking on water. We wait for others to validate our internal need to create.

If you are an artist like me, you are ruled by opposing forces — the desire to create and manipulate chaos into something meaningful, and an inner saboteur that whispers that you are supposed to be attending to more practical matters, walking on the path more worn and accepted. You might feel a passionate belief that you are on to something enormous and at the same time be terrified that no one will ever understand or that you’ll fall short of your mark.

I tried to commit emotional suicide in January 2014 when a series of personal events upset my apple cart and tossed me like wrinkled rubbish on the ground. I stopped writing, stopped reading, stopped listening to music and worst of all stopped seeing. I was so caught up in my personal drama I forgot about the one lifeline I had been gifted at birth, my creativity. I confessed to my boyfriend that I thought everything I was writing was awful, utter shit, and had my delete button on speed dial. He might be an engineer but he knows the value of art to the woman he loves and lives with and he made me promise not to hit delete until I let him read it. He was a stop sign, a divine intervention, a believer and was determined not to let me commit emotional suicide.

He reminded me, “Writing is what you do. Do it.” He made me promise not to delete anything until he read it.

We don’t always know who we are touching with our work. But every now and then I am thrown a nugget from a reader or follower and their words go something like this, “You say the things I feel but don’t know how to express.”

That’s a beautiful thing. Everything we create contains a piece of who we are and this is what unites us to others–our human-ness, our imperfections, our vulnerability. We start where we are and find ourselves joined with countless others.

To not start at all is the tragedy, not art that misses it’s mark.

Abandon hope of understanding, ready acceptance or universal approval. The loveliness of creation, good and not so good, is what makes us real.

Do what you do. Do it.

“Once you are real you can’t become unreal again. It lasts for always.”
― Margery Williams, The Velveteen Rabbit

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