You are creative. Yes you. You reading this. You are.
I have friends who think I’m creative. Sometimes I think I’m just crafty. When my tendency to compare myself to any of my creative friends or to people like Ali Edwards shows up I don’t feel so creative.
But comparison is fraught with danger.
My son sometimes struggles with his attitudes and feelings about his music lessons. Music comes fairly easily for him. I’m under no delusions he’ll be some famous musician. My expectations are realistic. The visual arts come do come quite easily and naturally for him and he’s quite confident in those artistic abilities.
But there are days with the music he will say in frustration “I want to quit.” We don’t push our son into activities. I realized long ago the important role the simple act of play is in his life. He needs it to process and quiet the many thoughts and ideas running through his mind.
But music is the one area I push and encourage. It is something I believe is important. I wouldn’t push him if I didn’t believe he could do it. Beneath his frustrations with his music, though, lies the comparison trap.
We are blessed to have a gifted music teacher for him. But Squirt can be a perfectionist (like his mom) and at times will begin comparing his abilities to the abilities of others. This time to his teacher’s abilities.
I wish I had learned this one truth as a child or teen – don’t compare yourself to others. As I’ve talked and encouraged Squirt and helped him refocus his perspective I began thinking. How often do I compare myself to others I consider more creative? Too often if I’m honest.
We are all creative beings. Yes we are. Don’t argue.
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” – Genesis 1:1
God created. And WE are created in his image.
“So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” – Genesis 1: 27
Notice how many times that is repeated. If we are created in his image then we ARE creative.
I am creative. You are creative. My Squirt is creative. Even my friends who think they are not creative really are creative in some way.
I wonder if it’s our almost compulsive need to compare ourselves to others that stifles our creativity. God didn’t create us all alike did he? We’d look like robots if he did. So why do we expect our creativity to look like the creativity of someone else?
If we think about the people considered most creative in history I believe they all have one thing in common: they didn’t compare themselves to others. They weren’t afraid to be who God created them to be and leave the thoughts of others behind.
So as I encourage my Squirt not to compare himself God is teaching me the same and that yes I am creative. In my own way I am.
And guess what?
So. Are. You.