In The Artist’s Way Julia Cameron writes:
Most of the time when we are blocked in an area of our life, it is because we feel safer that way. We may not be happy, but at least we know what we are – unhappy. Much fear of our own creativity is the fear of the unknown.
I was angry. I didn’t even know why I was angry, all I knew was that the mention of your name caused my blood to boil. I was angry when you acknowledged me and I was angry when you ignored me. I was angry when I found myself unwittingly using one of your personal cliches.
I tried to rationalise my anger, I tried to look for some possible explanation to justify the way I felt… and I couldn’t. I tried to convince myself that I was just being unfair at best, or plain crazy at worst. But even that didn’t change the way I felt. Nothing did, infact. But then I found my copy of The Artist’s Way.
Certain phrases just leapt out at me, most notably ‘blocked artists.’ Cameron insists that blocked artists are never happy to see their friends become recovering artists. Fully functioning artists are a threat to them, suddenly it is hard to hold onto the excuses they hold dear, the ones that keep them blocked. And we tend to stay blocked because it feels ‘safer that way.’
But I wasn’t just a blocked artist, I was a blocked human being. The simple truth was that you had managed to become unstuck, unblocked. You plucked up the courage to be honest in ways I don’t think I’d ever be able to and your entire world had been transformed as a result. Everything seemed so much better, you were liberated, you were happy and you were in love. I started to realise I was at the periphery of your world. I was a very small part of your very full exciting life, and conversely you were a huge part of my very limited experience.
So I take Julia Cameron’s advice once more. She writes:
Anger is meant to be acted upon. It is not meant to be acted out. Anger points the direction. We are meant to use anger as fuel to take the actions we need to move where our anger points us. With a little thought, we can usually translate the message that our anger is sending us.
I suspend my disbelief for a moment. I make a list of all the things I’d have to do to be somewhere similar to where you are. The list terrifies me – of course it does, why else would I be so stridently stuck in the proverbial mud? But at least now I understand. At least now I no longer feel angry.
At some point I suppose I’m going to have to do all those things on that list. Ugh. Can you imagine?!