I have often struggled that I MUST be original in order to put anything forward in life. To me this meant that I must have thought of the idea myself and it must be something new altogether. This thinking has held me captive for a while. I have seen countless people online copying each other and feeling like none of it was original. I’ve been reading a lot of older books recently about personal development from the early to mid 1900s and have noticed countless authors of today who are basically recycling what has been said before by other people first. Often times I don’t see a credit given to a person, which to me feels like ripping off someone else’s idea.
All of this goes against my internal core value which I hold in high esteem about being authentic. If I see a quote going around that is just rebranded by different people it makes me feel like that person, that brand, isn’t authentic, what they are pushing out is for their benefit. It’s a hard standard to live up to if you feel like everything you create must come from a source of inspiration and desire to create something new, something useful, something to think about, something to make a difference in the world.
I know that staying in a place of being critical of people who take other people’s words and push them out as their own isn’t a healthy space for me because it stops me from creating myself. The critical side of my mind isn’t my creative side per sey. My creative side is so much more fun and way better at coming up with novel concepts and solutions that my critical side had noticed. The thing is that if I get too much into the critical space it really does stop me from sharing.
There is a distinct difference between thinking and theoretically understanding something and actually embodying that truth experientially. I have thought quite a bit about the fact that each person is unique and the older you get truly the more unique you would have to be. I’ve thought of this from my own life experience knowing that my body is a representation of all that I have experienced in my life, everything I have eaten, everything I have been exposed to via the natural environment around me, every cut, every scrape, every surgery, every medicine I’ve ever taken, every time I’ve moved my body, or haven’t moved my body, all of that is what makes up my physical form. I then look at my mind and notice that only I have had the experiences that have formed the way I view, take in, analyse, and process the information I have been exposed to. This means that every person, every animal, every thought, every sound and smell, every sensation I’ve ever felt, every orgasm, every fit of laughter, every grief, every word I’ve read or heard, all of this will only be unique to me. Of course there will be similarities amongst humans that are alive now. The thing is that because of this very unique life, this very unique body, the varied and unique experiences and exposure I’ve had will ultimately always have me output something that is unique. If the machine, as in my mind, is uniquely wired, then the output would be also unique.
As hard as it is for me to move past a long held belief that everything I create must be original, as in having never existed before, I am totally okay and at terms with whatever I create will be uniquely mine because it has to, because it’s come through my own filter which is inherently unique. The bigger part I guess is that to be unique is one thing, but to be authentic and unique is another. To be unique for unique’s sake is okay I guess, but to be authentic in what I am creating feels very different from me trying to put something together piecemeal as it’s been sourced from others.
I notice I go through a cycle of consuming a lot of new information, I’ll read tons of books, take in films, absorb music, and in earlier years physically go to a new place which is not okay during covid restrictions right now and also much more challenging with two small children, so I get the exposure how I can, then I reach a point where I’m at capacity. When I reach that space of being at capacity, I’ll put down the five books I’m reading, I’ll turn off the music, I won’t stream any new media, and I have to process it. The processing goes in the form of figuring out and synthesising what it all means to me, how I feel about it, what insights I’ve gained, and usually will involve creating or expressing in some way like I am now in black and white.
This hunter gatherer creative process is very authentic to me because I am following the prompts from my own creative energy, and using them as best I possibly can. It’s almost like a process of metamorphosis for me, where I’m like the hungry caterpillar who eats and eats and then feasts on a range of foods that aren’t particularly great for it, then goes back to the basics of the sustenance that is healthy for it, then builds a house and processes it all, to then emerge with a new life and new wings ready to explore in a different way. It’s like I get to relive the hungry caterpillar story again and again, always growing with new information, then processing it to become me, and then to use it as my fuel moving forward.
This process is my authentic process, it may not be unique to me as it’s the storyline of the very famous children’s book The Hungry Caterpillar, but it feels wholly mine. If something feels wholly mine, I am able to use it as my own and that feels great. So whatever emerges will have to be unique, and as long as I stay true to who I am, what I really feel and think, and create from that space with my open connection to the divine nature of all that is, then the authentic flow of creativity occurs. Other people can do what they want, this is how I operate, and although to a high standard, it is mine, and I will always know that what I put forth into the world will always be uniquely, authentically, and originally mine.