creative-impulses-031408-small It is perhaps the greatest of ironies, that human beings are more alike in most of the important ways. Certainly we are as to all other life on this planet, and certainly we are as to any life we may encounter in other parts of the universe. We are bound by our shared DNA and the fact that share a similar environment as air-breathing mammals.

Yet there is no getting around the fact that we are singularly unique. We are in a world individuals, even when born into the same family. There is an infinite variety of DNA combinations but more importantly, it leads us to view the world in slightly different ways. We don’t share experiences, and when we do, it’s percolated through an entirely different personality and combined with a whole life time of cultural, environmental, social, and intellectual events that make us who we are as individual members of a species.

That makes for a wonderful thing. We can find each other interesting as diverse creatures. You like to sew, I like to garden. You hate shopping and I love art museums.

We are also a creative species, going back to cave drawings of hunting expeditions and animals we encountered. We left our mark in handprints and in jewelry we made to bedeck ourselves. We decorate our bodies with tattoos and finely made clothing. We do the same for our homes. We engage in sports and an endless variety of hobbies.

It is our nature to create. And it is my fervent belief that we all have talent. Some talents are of course obvious–the soprano singer, or the child prodigy pianist. Others are hobbies that we find ourselves particularly good at, cooking or woodworking.

Since it is in our nature to create, then to not create is, well not a good thing. Of course many don’t have the option, they are too busy trying merely to survive, but for most of us, we have the leisure time and we should put it to good use.

Discover your passion. It may take some time, but if you follow with your heart, surely you will find it. It pops up in the oddest of places.

This passion may not be concrete in the sense of producing a “thing”. You may have the gift of empathy which makes you a godsend to those who are lingering in nursing homes, hospices, or other institutions. You may be a good listener, which makes you the perfect person to work an emergency hotline.

Sometimes, your joy will lead to a career, and you will have the best of all worlds, work you truly love. But the key word is love, sprinkled with a fair amount of joy.

You will discover your passion when you become lost in it. When hours go by and you haven’t even noticed. When you feel a sense of accomplishment, of self-worth. “I did that,” you beam when someone compliments the newly made throw on the sofa. Surely they thought it was purchased, but you are happy to tell them otherwise.

Everyone needs to feel a sense of worth, and nothing accomplishes that better than creating. You are unique. No one can paint exactly like you. Oh they may copy, but no one has the same inspiration, and brings to the canvas the same meaning and depth of thought.

No one writes like you.

No one cooks like you, and your family who eat your creations surely know that it tastes better because made with love.

What am I creative at?

Well, that’s a story.

For years I moved from one thing to another, fascinated for a while with gardening, cooking, crocheting, knitting, quilting, cross-stitch, studying theology, and then biblical matters. I would learn how to do these things and then do them, and then get very bored. I kept looking for the one thing that would be my love.

The reason I continued the search was because I assumed that is what I should feel. You know the types. It may be like you, or your mother, or sister or best friend. They cannot find enough time to do the thing they love. Whether its playing golf or decorating their home, every spare minute of free time is devoted to the “passion”.

So for many years, I continued to bounce from one thing to another, returning a year later or two to make another something or other, getting bored again, and seeking the “perfect” thing.

Well, finally, it dawned on me. My talent was being a “jack of all trades” and pretty much master of none. That was my gift. I could do all these things quite adequately. I could sew clothes that were wearable, cook things most eatable, grow tomatoes, make quilts, knit caps and afghans. I just like to trade-off a lot.

Right now, I’m working on a quilt, but I’m not especially interested in it, so I’m going to find a sweater pattern and do some knitting. I want to make a light-weight short-sleeved sweater. But surely when I get that done, I won’t want to make another. I probably will be done with knitting for several months.

That is my creative bent.

I’m a decent writer, but I don’t want to be a great writer. I’ll probably never be published except in this forum. That’s okay. I don’t have the drive to be published. But I am a writer.

The rewards emotionally are simply fantastic. I DO things, I ACCOMPLISH things, I am APPRECIATED for my gift of cookies. I feel good about myself. I CONTRIBUTE to the world in my small way.

Find your passion and follow it. Try to engage in some creative thing every day. It will bring joy and a quiet sense of happiness to your life.

I promise.