This section of Elizabeth Gilbert's book is encouraging you to change your perspective. To paraphrase my interpretation of it is: for trust you need love-reciprocal love. I had never thought of creativity loving me too-I love and admire it, but had never thought of it reciprocating. So, yes, I do believe creativity loves me in return. Maybe if there is no love in return then it seems like it is harder, more tormented, a feeling that you don't belong. One of my favourite things that Elizabeth mentions about this is that to believe that your work loves you in return means that you are in conversation with it and that you are co-creating with it-there is an exchange of love, and a shift of how we perceive ourselves in this world.
Creating has done exactly that for me. Creating helps me to process what is going on in my life and I have been privileged enough to see it do the same for others. There is this idea of the tormented artist, but why do we feel that an artist must always be tormented, or struggle to produce meaningful works. One of my biggest blocks is that maybe I can not produce good work or help people with their struggles because I have not experienced it and why would they come to me. This is a perspective I still struggle with-but more and more I am learning that it is irrelevant and people will come to me when they are ready or if they like what I have to offer. It is not up to me. A quote from Elizabeth Gilbert that I love in regards to her own work is "my desire to engage with my creativity as intimately and as freely as possible is the strongest personal incentive to fight back against pain"-I love this. Trust=love; trust in love rather than in suffering.
I need to trust that inspiration is always there, even if I don't feel it. "Inspiration is from another world and speaks a different language. It is there and trying. right beside you" but you need to show up. Trust that what shows up is what needed to show up. It doesn't matter, as long as you are moving. There are days that I just don't feel like it, and I am usually miserable about it, but just sit down-scribble if you need to, splash some colour, dance wildly, or write-whatever you need, don't judge it. Be curious and see failures as interesting.
Learn to navigate failure-it will happen. try not to take yourself to seriously. Elizabeth talks about failure as ego. We need ego, but don't let it drive. We are not just ego but also soul. Our ego is hurt by failure, our soul not so much. Ego is driven by praise and fear and is the voice that tells us we are not good enough, on the other hand, Elizabeth says that the soul desires WONDER! Don't let 'failure' slow you down, pick your self up-forgive yourself, let it go. If you need to switch to a different project for a while so be it. Failure has function-"it asks us if we really want to do it".
Trust is putting your work out into the world-regardless of what you think, especially when there is no guarantee of success. This is something I decided to start five years ago-more for myself-and while there may be weeks where it is more sporadic I have done this for the last five years. I still struggle with "if the work is good enough to show" but I am learning that it doesn't matter. We are all at different stages in our journey, so there is no use in comparing, but just putting it out there for myself and who ever else may enjoy my story or even relate to it.
So trust that if you love your work it loves you back, trust that it is okay to fail, trust that you are where you need to be, trust that inspiration is looking for you, trust that someone needs your work in the world.
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Jennifer Russell was born and raised in New Brunswick, Canada.She is an Intentional artist who focuses on creating meaning full connections to her work for herself and others. Nothing is more satisfying to her than hearing that her work has inspired someone in their own life.