Where we invest our creative energy can end up being the thing that saves us.
Recently, my life, more specifically my future, was entirely uprooted. Sometimes life throws a domino effect of changes your way when you are least prepared for it. Initially, it starts off with a living arrangement change or different work hours and suddenly your plans for your future are shattered.
In my case, I lost the one thing dearest to me that I hoped would be my sense of stability and consistency. Now you may be reading this wondering how a post titled “The Deliverance of Creativity” has anything to do with a breakup. Well, that is because creativity is the very answer to the question: what comes next?
Now, let me clarify that I do not claim to be coming from a place of great wisdom or experience. My breakup is still fresh, recent, and raw. But my thoughts draw upon my recent experiences and how I have managed to survive them.
One of my gut reactions to help cope with this heartbreak was to start watching TED Talks again. If you have not heard of TED Talks they are phenomenal short talks on any topic designed to drive home a specific lesson or idea. I strongly recommend that everyone watch as many TED Talks as possible.
Through this random choice to indulge in TED Talks I discovered what is now one of my favorite talks of all time: Power of Breakup by Onkar Kishan Khullar. If you have an extra 13 minutes, watch it.
What struck me the most was his explanation on why the Taj Mahal was built. Shah Jahan commissioned it to be built in memory of his wife, Mumtaz Mahal, after she died. He created art from his heartbreak. And this was Onkar’s point: sometimes the most beautiful things emerge from pain.
This is where I connected the dots and realized the truth behind that idea. From the moment my relationship ended I had been writing a near constant stream of thoughts, poetry, etc. And now, more than ever before, I have been inspired and driven to pursue photography.
Edvard Munch said it best when he explained, “Art comes from joy and pain…but mostly pain.”
My point in all of this it to say that when you hit rock bottom, there are two options. You can either sit and wallow in it or you can turn your pain into something. Instead, you can take action and be the deciding factor in how your pain fits into your future.
We are all broken. And we all suffer crippling hurt at one point or another, but it does not have to stop there. Yes, feel the pain. Yes, accept it. But from there: do. Do something, anything, but at least take a step forward.
Maybe you shape your pain into a book that will later be published. Or maybe you create an amazing social media campaign that takes a community by storm. Or it could be as simple as discovering a new hobby and committing to it.
Whatever it is, do not let yourself waste away. Take this time to challenge yourself and grow. I promise you will be surprised by just how much newfound creativity will deliver you from the pain.
“Suffering is justified as soon as it becomes the raw material of beauty.” Jean-Paul Sartre