Thursday, March 8, 2012
I cannot imagine anyone unfamiliar with the idea of 12 step programs. You know, Step One - admitted we are powerless over some addiction, etc...Fill this in with chardonnay, cocaine, chocolate...or competition.
I love a good contest. I love to enter a contest with some hope of winning, and put as much effort as I can into getting to the finish line with a good time, or a good garment, or a beautiful garden. I find a lot of joy in looking at other contestants and seeing what they are doing, and how they are doing it. What makes them winners? What do they do to achieve something I am still struggling with?
Competition described like this is healthy. A group consciousness underlies it and each contestant benefits from the other. People might share information, or help one another on the trail, or compliment your horse or admire your well sewn dress. The danger to us is that in any contest, we can start to focus so much on the prize that we begin ranking everyone. There will be those at the top, wearing their Olympic medals, and then those just starting in an endeavor. Most of us muddle along somewhere in the middle, working to improve. I think this describes me perfectly...muddling along in the middle, working to improve. At my best, I am happy and content and celebrate other's successes. At my worst, I am filled with envy for those who are more talented, or have more resources, or more experience.
This affects not only riding, but my sewing, cooking, home care, interactions with others, on and on. I compare myself to everybody and everything when in this envious state. I blame Pinterest, in part, for inundating me with images so beautiful and so unattainable...that I had to limit what how long I stayed on. Then, I noticed that I had a hankering to join a PR contest. I didn't even want to sew the item for the contest...I just wanted to engage in a contest. I wanted to have some feedback about my standing/ranking/ability/talent. This is so wrong in so many ways.
Creativity is killed by the need for approval. Personal growth is thwarted when our behavior is managed by our need for approval. The fun pretty much gets sucked out of life when we need validation, because it is NEVER enough. For a scholarly analysis of my statements, visit mindstructures.com for a jumping off place to explore these ideas.
So, here I am, struggling to rise above this need for approval and access my creative drive again. I'm closer than I was at the start of this post, and will be closer still with some sewing of V8684. This drop waist dress is not really popular on PatternReview, is not a sexy style, has a shape which is perhaps too comfy...but all of this doesn't matter to me because I love it. It makes me happy and seeing it on my dressform in a B/W plaid causes little frissons of pleasure. I see it with a red sweater, and tights, or a slouchy sea blue bag.
Creativity? Yes, I think so.