If you are an artist, a creative or simply a living, breathing real life person, I bet you have had someone say to you, “You can’t take things so personally”. Whether it’s your relationship with another person or a recent rejection, I’ve heard more times than I care to think about, that phrase which is supposed to be a salve to my heart. And yet, every time it is spoken I wonder to myself……..how in the hell do you do that? How do you “de-personalize” something or someone you have invested part of your soul in?
Let’s back up for a moment. When I am in the flow of creating, when a vision magically manifests in my head, I “see” it floating around, just waiting for me to acknowledge the fact that this vision was meant for me. I quieted my mind and my own thoughts enough to allow my Muse to show up, to gently speak to me and am able to recognize that I had been singled out to bring this vision into the real world. In that moment, I feel chosen, an individual blessed with a connection that is so intimate, so incredibly personal that I can’t wait to touch clay again to bring it into the physical universe before I lose the magic.
Taking things “personally” is, for me, what creating is all about! If I am simply producing work, without a connection to its soul and it’s essence then I am not fully invested in the outcome. Yes, I take my art personally; and there are times, that I take rejection personally. Well, most of the time, I take rejection personally. I always wonder what I can do better, what edge I didn’t push, or did I push it too far. But here’s the kicker………this is all part of the dance of life. Being truly invested in my life means that there will be times that it ain’t all sunshine and flowers. Fantasies don’t smell……….sometimes reality does.
If I allow the criticisms, the rejections or the apathy to take over my soul, I would not be able to create. That choice is up to me. Now, I’m not suggesting that we should wallow in the misery of rejections or base our creative “mojo” on someone else’s opinion of it. What I am leaning toward is that taking our lives personally is part of being an authentic individual with an authentic voice. To be able to move through the struggles and disappointment and be able to come through it with even more passion for your art…..well, for me……..that’s the seat of the soul kind of love. I will continue to take my creativity, my art and my life personally, because, with all of its hiccups, travails and joys…….it’s mine. Every last, personal drop.