The archnemesis of creativity

Perfectionism is the archnemesis of creativity.  Shame, too.

So writes Leeana Tankersley in Found Art.  A friend gave me this book along with some others this week.  It’s not one I’d have chosen for myself in all likelihood…and how I would have missed out!  This is Tankersley’s first book, a series of reflections on life and faith during a year of living in Bahrain.  Her writing is simple and yet some of her statements so arresting.

I’d been reading this book over lunch on Wednesday.  It constituted light relief from the theological tomes sitting on my college desk and I was glad to have it!  Yet as I was hungrily devouring chapter after chapter during my half hour for lunch (it’s an easy read, in case you are wondering), the quotation above jumped out and hit me between the eyes.  So much so that I decided I’d share it with you.

I already suspect some of the places in my life where my predisposition towards perfectionism and fear of being shamed stifles all forays into creative thought or action.  The fear of putting myself ‘out there’, of taking a risk instead of playing it safe, of being creative in my thinking rather than restating the accepted truths, of doing things differently…that fear can be such a big part of my life, if I’m honest.  I don’t like it.  And I’m working through some of this as it is revealed to me.

But what about you?  Have you dared to name those places of paralysis in your life yet?  Do you believe in a God who can bring healing and restoration in it all?  A God who desires for you to delight in creativity, to risk new things, new thoughts, new dreams?  And how might we start to live if we really believed this?

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