Creative self-expression. An anomaly, don’t you think?

Can genuine self-expression be anything but creative? Since we are unique and creative beings, if our thoughts and feelings were released in the way that we think or feel them no two people would have exactly the same mode of expression.

The word creativity has been bandied about a lot of late – how to be more creative, how to learn creativity, how to inject creativity into business, etc. All this talk in a world that constantly seeks to normalize things and behaviors. A world that puts ‘creativity’ in a box daily.

You see, creativity has become the bigger box that we put the smaller ‘everyday thought’ box in. ‘Think outside the box’ therefore really means ‘think outside the small box, but inside the big box’. Going outside of the big box? Whoa, reign it in the there, that’s too way out, that can’t be done, does that even make sense? Maybe it is and can’t and doesn’t, but if it’s never explored who will ever know?

If we really want to be the creative people we were made to be, we have to undo the invisible straightjacket we’re forced to wear early in life – the one that makes sure we look and sound and behave like ‘everyone else’, instead of cultivating our differences for what they are – opportunities for bettering the world.

Discipline and creativity are not opposites. Check your thesaurus. Encouraging uniqueness doesn’t mean discouraging discipline, and discipline is meant to train, not control. Training can help us use our uniqueness – the source of our creativity – fully.

We need to stop stifling and killing the ideas of others just because we can’t see it. Not everyone will fight to make their ideas a reality, and so many great ideas die or have to wait for a new host. We need to stop telling people how they ‘ought to’ express themselves.

Casual observation tells me that many of the more heinous crimes were and are committed by people who didn’t know how to or felt they couldn’t express themselves over long periods of time and who eventually broke mentally. It seems that many addictions are created by a lack of ability or space or tools for honest expression.

Think about it. Why are we always left asking, why? No one can say what the person was thinking. They never expressed their real feelings about life and others and how they were treated… until they did, violently or self-destructively. Could things have been different if they felt they could?

Maybe we should spend some time teaching that feelings and thoughts were made to be expressed, and the many ways and when and to whom they should be expressed, while understanding that these are not general rules, but specific to the individual.


Maybe we should give ourselves and those coming up behind us a chance to really be expressive… creatively.

What are your thoughts on how we express ourselves? Let’s talk in the comments.

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