Negativity is the enemy of creativity . . .
Ever hear this before? I have. I’ve probably heard this more times than I could imagine. But yet, sometimes we hear things and other times, we hear the meaning.
I heard this comment yesterday as if I had never heard this before. Yet still, the quote stuck with me. Negativity is the enemy of creativity.
I thought about this during a mild bout with anxiety and insomnia. I thought about the various enemies that hold us back, I thought about my thoughts and ideas that can become burdensome or problematic. I thought about the feelings and changes we go through both internally and externally. There is life in front of us all. We all live with this.
In the middle of my emotional challenge, there was an idea that came to my mind. I was happy to have this because the thought provided an outlet, which allowed me to change the direction of my thinking.
In an effort to find peace, I didn’t want to lose my train of thought so I wrote this down.
The idea was simple and yet, I cannot say this is original or unsaid by anyone else. However, I can say that what I am about to share is something that I fully believe.
I think the problem with mental health is we tend to treat the heart attack after it happens. And then what? And then it’s too late? Is this right?
It seems as if people tend to think they can corner the market on opinions because after all, everyone has an opinion. Everyone has something to say. Everyone wants to act like they “Know” or they “Get it,” but I have learned that inside this vessel I call my body; I have thoughts and views, a way of seeing and a way of feeling that is absolutely unexperienced by anyone else.
I have unhelpful ideas. I have tragic thinking that responds to inaccurate and irrational fears, which become real and true. I have struggles and challenges with rejection and failure. I have this idea that is misinformed about success and achievement. I tend to overlook. If unaddressed, I have a pathway of thinking that can keep me imprisoned or keep me stuck or leashed to my inaccurate concepts that suggest, “You’re never going to make it.”
But why do I say this? Why would I admit to something like this? Some people would see this as a weakness, right?
Is honesty a weakness?
The answer is no.
I give view into my own life to expose myself before I lose to something beyond my control. And yes, I have challenges. I have traumas from the past. I have a personal chemistry that needs to be addressed. I have to do this. Otherwise, I find myself as a result of the statement above. I have to understand the benefits of self-care. Otherwise, I find myself treating the heart attacks after they happen.
I do not talk about my past the same as I used to. I do not relive the old thoughts or go down the old corridors of thinking. I have to. Otherwise, I run the risk of taking on the emotions from that time.
No, I need to create a new path. I am not ashamed of where I came from. However, I do understand the risks and the dangers of what happens to my life without personal maintenance.
I understand my triggers, which I can see them coming. I can feel it. Know what I mean?
Sometimes my anxiety comes with warning signs. I can tell what’s on the way the same as I can tell the rain is coming when the skies turn gray. Meanwhile, the sky is always blue. The storm clouds are only something that blocks the view. The gray is just a shade. And I know this now. I know that sometimes my moods or thoughts can influence the tint of color.
My favorite exercise comes from a lesson I learned about sunglasses.
Question: What color would the sky look like if you wore dark gray sunglasses?
Answer: Dark and gray.
Question: What color would the sky look like if you wore rosy red sunglasses?
Answer: Rosy red.
Question: Let’s take a day with a clear blue sky. You put on a pair of yellow sunglasses. What color is the sky now?
Think about the answer for a second. Think about the example of colors. Blue and yellow. What color is the sky?
Answer: The sky is always blue. It’s only the glasses that changed the way we see things. Hence, this is why I always remind myself about the deceptions of my perception. I use this analogy to remind myself that I might not always see clearly.
I remind myself about this because one, I am human. And two, I have bouts with rejection. I have bouts with anxiety. I hurt. I feel. And sometimes, I weep. I have moods that tend to shade my vision into something that can become inaccurate.
I have this idea which often tricks me into believing there’s something wrong with me, which in fairness, this could not be further from the truth.
This only means I’m human. And for some reason it is taboo. No wait, this is too sensitive of a topic to discuss or normalize conversations about mental health or mental health challenges.
There is an undiscussed fact that people will suffer in silence before reaching out or seeking help. In fact, we as a society have become programmed by stigmas of shame. Therefore, we are afraid to be marked by these stigmas. And yet, in actuality, stigma is only a word. Judgement is only as important as the importance we give it. But yet, we give into the judgments from others. We give people far too much say and far too much priority in our life.
Truth be told, no one wants to be marked or judged. No one wants to be at a disadvantage. No one asks to be blacklisted or rejected.
No one wants to be picked last when choosing teams and no one asks to be less-than or undesired. Yet, like it or not, there is a level of priority in the social ideas of popularity. There are cliques and groups and sections of people that vary in desirability.
If asked, everyone would love to be rich. We would all love to eat whatever we want and have the perfect body. Nobody wants to be flawed or unattractive. In fact, as humans, we all have a common need to be wanted, included, desired and appreciated. However, our association and assignment of judgement can often lead us in a direction of theory and assumptions. Our perceptions can easily become misperception and opinions can be misinterpreted as fact. We are like the analogy with the sunglasses. Understand?
It is said that if you don’t know then you don’t know. It is said that there are people that do not understand and do not know about life on the other side of sanity.
There are those who cannot fathom the depths of depression or the sad despair, which nearly makes it impossible to get out from beneath the covers and get out of bed.
(I remember this feeling very well.)
I often explain what depression is to me. I explain the thoughts of suicidal ideation or the weight of heavy thinking and what it feels like to be immersed in the ideas of impending doom.
You can’t think about anything else. You can’t get away from yourself because no matter where you go, there you are. You can’t even breathe sometimes because the receptors in your brain are overreacting. The thought machine can be as punishing as an ugly bully that laughed at me in the second grade.
The problem with one-way thinking is this only goes one way.
Next, we find ourselves victims of our own thoughts. We feel the emotion. We have the internal chemistry that responds to the changes in our emotional environment. How the hell can anyone feel better if our personal chemistry won’t agree?
I openly discuss this because I can say that yes, this is me. I can say that this has been me for as long as I can remember. I can say that yes, I have been medicated before. I have been addressed and both diagnosed and misdiagnosed.
I have lived with certain challenges throughout my entire life. And I say it this way for a reason. I say that I live with this. I live with depression. I live with social anxiety. I live with the so-called disorders that were handed down or taught to me. Although I struggle sometimes, I do not suffer. At least not anymore.
Negativity is the enemy of creation . . .
Or, I can look at this from the opposite perspective. I can say creation is the enemy of negativity. I can say that a smile is the enemy of the teardrop. Movement is the opposition of stillness. These are all ways in which I have learned to help myself feel better. I can say that life and living out loud is the enemy of being in a closed box, alone, isolated and hidden away like some pariah or outcast.
There has to be a different angle. Otherwise, we go back to the argument of the glass being half-full or half-empty. Meanwhile, we overlook the fact that either way, at least we have something to quench our thirst. We have to find a way to take off the shades that alter our perception and change our view.
I have old ideas that creep up on me. Throughout the years, I have learned to pay attention to the direction of my thinking. Otherwise, I find myself treating the heart attacks after they happen.
There is this thing inside of me. And no, I am not talking about depression or my anxiety. Those two things are only a small part of me. There is something inside of me that wants to be discovered. There is an emotion of daringness that screams to get out.
There is a piece of me that wants to taste, smell and feel the benefits of this world. I want to be clear and clean. I want to be washed and cleansed from my previous life.
I want to be refreshed free.
There are dreams in me. There are hopes and aspirations. There are desires and there is a drive to achieve all of this. However, as it is with any and all living things, this source of mine is something that needs to be cared for. This needs to be nurtured, sheltered, nourished and fed.
This is the side of me that wants to live. And should I dare to live outside of the box or should I dare to try and face the world or allow myself the freedom to be me without judgement; the only way that any of my dreams could possibly become true is if I learn to feed them.
Over the years, I’ve had to learn to feed my spirit. Otherwise, I tend to feed the demons. Otherwise, the voice in me goes towards a different direction. And so does my belief system.
I have learned that I need to treat the heart attack before it happens.
This way I can see clearly. Or more to the point, this way, I can be free.