In a recent post about finding yourself a Creative Project we mentioned ‘Creative Viewpoint.’ What does this mean?
One aspect of Creative Viewpoint is the ability to use mental pictures to understand situations and concepts. For example, have you noticed how many mental pictures have been used in this blog so far? The Creativity Sponge. Cheeselike Advice. Hang, the whole concept of considering your Creativity as an actual person or character in your mind is a perfect example of Creative Viewpoint. And there are plenty more examples to come in future posts.
But this is not the only context where Creative Viewpoint can be used. It comes into its own when dealing with difficult (and emotional) situations. The trick is to train yourself to see the illustrative connections.
This Includes YOU
Talking to a close friend last night, I was shocked to discover she didn’t feel she was a ‘creative person.’ And yet, she has been more profuse with Creative Viewpoint than anyone else I have ever met.
Some people feel that they aren’t creative because they don’t create anything tangible. But thoughts and feelings are created and influenced by your Creativity. You don’t have to produce a painting, novel or sculpture to prove you are creative. Seeing things in a different way is all you need. And everyone can do it, with a little practice.
Example time, eh?
Over the past couple of weeks I have had ample opportunity to practice my Creative Viewpoint. A defining relationship in my life has hit a very rocky patch and I’ve had plenty of stuff to work through – learning a lot about myself and my past in the process. Here is just one example of how I’ve used Creative Viewpoint to help me cope with the emotions and come to deeper understandings.
The Piggy Bank
Monday afternoon, while cleaning, I touched off a domino effect of books, knickknacks etc. which ended with my beloved piggy bank smashing to the floor. It was a gift from a friend. (Mel, if you’re reading this, I’m so sorry! Thank goodness your other presents are much more resilient.) Thankfully the pink ceramic broke into big chunks. Therefore, glue was a possibility! I took it to my father, the best gluer (glueer?) in all the west. (Not that I doubt my gluing abilities, but when you want it done right first time, he’s the man.) As he began sticking it back together, he told me that I wouldn’t be able to use it as a piggy bank again. I might not even be able to put the little stopper back in. But at least I would still have the object.
Hours later, seeing my little piggy on her back drying out (makes her sound like an alcoholic!) I came to a realization. The troubles in my relationship resembled the piggy bank.
You see, often times when something breaks, the process of fixing the thing makes it stronger. For example, how often have you bought a shirt and within the week one of the buttons has fallen off? What do you do? Pull out a needle and stitch the little blighter back on with such vigor that he won’t ever come off again. Or what about if a couple of pages fall out of your favourite book? Perhaps you sticky tape them back in so they will always stay safe between their brother leaves.
But sometimes the break makes the object weaker, and no amount of Tarzan’s Grip will bring back the strength. You can no longer use it for its original purpose. But, if it means enough to you, you can keep the object on the shelf as a reminder of the memories it holds or the kindness of the giver.
In the same way, sometimes when a friendship breaks, you can work to fix it – and in the process you make the friendship stronger. Friendships will always have little buttons fall off or chips taken off them from time to time. But we sew and glue it back together, becoming wiser and better friends. I have been fortunate to have a number of these friendships, and I value every one of them.
However, there are those rare times where a friendship breaks in a fragile spot. While you may be able to patch it back up, it is beyond your power to strengthen it to the point where it used to be. You can no longer use that friendship for its original purpose. That doesn’t necessarily mean you should throw it away. Instead, it may require a change in viewpoint. That friendship is now the glued piggy bank, replaced on the shelf to remind you of the good times. You have to treat it with a little more care, and you don’t use it every day, but you pass it as you dust and smile at it – remembering the times you have been through together and valuing its presence in your life.
My relationship piggy bank is still in the gluing process, and will probably be in that process for a while to come. But at least I know where it will go when I’m done. I realise I can’t use it everyday like I used to, but I’m not going to throw it out. I’m going to keep it because of all the good times it represents.
What about you? Have you ever discovered a Creative Viewpoint that has helped you come to terms with a situation?