When someone struggles with Depression or with an addiction (or both), I’m willing to bet everything I have that his or her life has been reduced to a single point of consciousness. That singular focus, either the atrophy of Depression or the substance of abuse, eliminates all of existence except for that singular focus.
I often suggest that creating art or music or poetry can be therapeutic for someone struggling with Depression or with an addiction because in creating something, a person’s life expands. It has to. There’s no way to create anything unless awareness goes beyond our current focus. In order to create anything, a person has to delve into some aspect of him or herself that needs release or expression. The act of creating may be just as simple as a drawing of a big black dot. But in order to draw that dot, a person must engage with a pen and paper and in that engagement, there is more to a moment than despair or drugs or anger or sadness. I’ll acknowledge that there are people who have more natural talent at certain things than others. And I can understand that virtuosic talent can be intimidating. But there’s way more ways to create than just drawing or singing or writing.
Really, I have to expand my advocacy of creation as therapy. Anything activity in life can be creative and expressive if we do it with attention and engagement. Even at our day-to-day jobs: If we live our daily lives in pursuit of quality outcomes, then the need to connect will be met because in doing quality activities, the best of our efforts will shine through and the seeds of Depression and Addiction and Anger can be stifled. There may be people better than us at many different things, but in the moments of our lives, I think it’s best that we attempt to be the best example of who we all are. If so, our lives will not only be our art, but in living from the best we can be, our lives will be a prayer. While there may always be a need for churches, the simple fact that we live from the best of who we are demonstrates the value we believe our existence to possess. It doesn’t matter if someone is better at something, day-to-day, we can seek to improve and expand our consciousness.
Or not. We can choose to use our talents to make ourselves bigger in our own eyes. That choice has its own adverse consequences. But I stand firmly in my belief that if we create in order to express and connect, then we can achieve a peace of mind reserved for those who live in certainty that they’ve given all they could.