The Courage of Creativity

The Courage of Creativity January 11, 2017

Creativity by Denise Krebs (cc) 2012.
Creativity by Denise Krebs (cc) 2012.

The origin of “courage” is the French word for heart: “coeur”. To have courage is to live with your heart. Bravery comes into it because a lot of the time living with your heart is really scary. If we’re lucky, it’s not. But living with your heart means putting your heart out in front, to take the lead. It leaves our heart exposed, vulnerable.

A heart in that position takes enough beatings, and it might not have the resilience to recover. That makes me hesitate, every single time.

Brene Brown once asked herself, when she was examining her own vulnerability, “does this mean that our capacity for wholeheartedness can never be greater than our willingness to be broken-hearted?”

I spent many years afraid of a broken, irreparable heart. I saw it as a fragile thing, made of glass, easily shattered, unless every movement was known ahead of time and carefully planned. It was a safe life. And it was devoid of true creativity — the creating of me.

Learning to Take Risks

When I finally started down this path to professional ministry, after years of not leading with my heart, it became clear that I had to learn how to take risks, how to be courageous in my creativity. Because how can I serve a congregation if I can’t show them who I really am?

Innovation is scary. Creativity is scary. Because they are unknown, and our lizard brains hate the unknown. Unknown means danger.

But the unknown is also where we find freedom from our chains. The unknown is where we catch the glimmer of our vision, the tiniest seed of possibility. The unknown is where we must go to build something that works better than what we already have.

Many of us who are drawn to the Earth-centered traditions in our Unitarian Universalist search for what guides us to live into our principles have a deep understanding of creativity as creation. When we create something, we pour pieces of ourselves into it as well — cooking with love is an excellent example. When we actively work to create ourselves, we not only love ourselves into being, but we also put into ourselves that which has been given to us from those in our community.

So, in this new year, think of yourself and how you are manifesting your own divinity. You are a beautiful creature, made of this earth. And you are also made of those around you. When there is poison or toxicity, remove it. Yes, it will be hard. Where there is love and support, embrace it. Sometimes, that’s hard, too. Make the creation of you a love letter to your world.

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