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  • Ana Baldaia

WHY WE DON’T CREATE- AND the problems with this

Since childhood, we are asked to express our thoughts, and to talk. We are praised by our thoughts being made words. Words become the symbol of our evolution (at least for a couple of years as toddlers). Once we are able to speak, perh

aps we may not be as encouraged, but our academic credit and our society places great importance on our words, and our sense of expression. We grow and we start expressing- babbling and mark making. If we are lucky, our mark making is also encouraged, and then guided and we are taught to draw. We are taught symbols, and how images have meaning, we learn to read, we learn to connect letters and blend them into sounds, and we learn words, which carry meaning, and we are off to communicating and expressing. It is at the core of this process that the second biggest trauma in the evolution of our species takes place: we all go through the trauma of rejection.

At some point in our childhood, often around the second or third year of our lives, we all experience a negative response to something we express. It may be a word which we say which is reprimanded, or ignored quite simply. It maybe a mark we make, which is poorly received (a mark on the wall or maybe in our body or even on paper). It may be the constant correction of the marks on our

Papers which are not yet letters, and we are told are not good enough and should look in a different way than the way we presented it. It doesn’t really matter but this traumatic experience of rejection leads us to subconsciously feel like there is something wrong about us, something that isn’t good enough, leaves us with the sense that we must improve, we must change, we must strive for better. You see trauma isn’t necessarily bad- trauma creates movement, and all pain is a leverage for change and growth. Without pain there is no growth, but pain is different from suffering. Suffering occurs when we identify with the pain, as we identify with the mind, and we believe we are that pain, so we experience hurtful feelings and allow them to take over us. This is when traumatic experiences become obstacles and impediment on our growth, instead of being leverage for change. So, for example, if as a child we were told that mark we made with our pencil on the wall was a mistake, and our expression is rejected, we feel the pain of this wrong-doing which increases our sense of separation and isolation, and we associate this feeling with mark making. If we identify with that pain, we then further believe that our expression is rejected, and we stop expressing ourselves in order not to be rejected.

Alternatively, if we have the cognitive ability to distance the experience from the feeling, we learn that mark making needs to be done on paper for example, and we get rewarded and continue our expression.

The point is, at some point in our development our expression, in one way or another, is rejected, and this event has a massive impact in our self-confidence and in our future expression of who we are. We may then cultivate thoughts that we are not to express ourselves and we start the journey of repression.

The journey of repression is a long path, which we all walk in our lives. There is a huge amount of repressed emotion, repressed expression which we all do in our daily lives in order to be functional citizens. Obviously we would all be living in chaos if we were constantly expressing all that goes on in our mind, or all that we are urged to do. We are socially repressed, sexually repressed. We all know this, and we understand some of the basic Freudian principles which we now know are less accurate and yet have so greatly influenced our social development. In any case, we are aware that a fair level of repression is carried by each and everyone of us in life and I am not suggesting that repression needs to stopped and liberation is the cure for a more healthy society (even if a fair dose of healing repression could do wonders for all of us). What I want to bring our attention to is creative repression. This type of repression is less commonly acknowledged and is living within all of us, to some extension or another. In fact, we can even go further to say that if we were to be more creatively liberated, we would feel less the weight of our own social and sexual repressions.

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