We really do learn to lie from a very young age.
One particular toddler of mine, removed her diaper, wet the floor and blamed it on the dog. I’ve had children become adept liars before they could string three word sentences together. Are my children natural born liars? In a word yes.
As adults, we have to learn how to be truthful. Or better still, we learn when to be truthful–when it doesn’t pay to lie. That’s not to say, that all lies are for sinister reasons.
We become masters at lying to protect our inner selves. It’s a built-in protection mechanism. Who we really are, our deepest feelings and thoughts are kept hidden only to be revealed to our inner circle of close family and friends.
Children master the craft of protecting their inner selves. In high school teens learn to craft the acceptable persona for school, and often another to present to parents.
“By the time we grow up we become masters at dissimulation, at cultivating a self that the world cannot probe. But we pay a price. After years of turning people away, of protecting our inner self, of cultivating it by living in a different world, of furnishing this world with our fantasies and dreams–lo and behold we find that we are hopelessly separated from everyone else. We have become victims of our own art.” — Ernest Becker
Not only do we protect our inner self from the world–we protect it from our harshest critic–our own minds.
We pretend something doesn’t bother us, that our feelings are not hurt. We lie to ourselves about how important our dreams are, and the real reason we are angry.
If we want to take our creativity to the next level, as with any deep relationship, complete honesty with our inner self is a must.
Peeling back those layers aren’t as frightening as you might think. What you unleash might surprise you.
Julia Cameron writes:
“The process of identifying a self inevitably involves loss as well as gain. We discover our boundaries, and those boundaries by definition separate us from our fellows. As we clarify our perceptions, we lose our misconceptions. As we eliminate ambiguity, we lose illusion as well. We arrive at clarity, and clarity creates change.”
Morning pages are where you meet, and have a private conversation between you and your deepest self. It is the one place where you can be completely honest about what you’re thinking and feeling. For some, that thought alone is intimidating. Don’t let it stop you.
Most of the creative people I know, have scores of ideas and projects waiting to be birthed from their minds. If creativity is not flowing freely, it’s most likely dammed behind a wall constructed by the lies we tell ourselves.
“People frequently believe that the creative life is grounded in fantasy. The more difficult truth is that creativity is grounded in reality, in the particular, the focused, the well observed or specifically imagined.”
Morning pages are a safe place to tear up the facade. In doing so, we at last find reality. With reality, comes clarity–the pathway for creativity.
By creating a habit of daily writing, in long hand, three pages of whatever is weighing down your mind, you will find a wonderfully creative person hiding within–waiting for the real you to show up.
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Photo credit Shutterstock, Lisa A