As Sarah mentioned on Tuesday, we've started a new series to unpack the Unveiling Your Creative Superpowers story line. Last year we were trying to think of a narrative way to explain the concepts we've been sharing with Bright Ideas and hit upon the idea of the hero's journey. As we continued to explore this idea we found that many people's creative journey parallels that of the typical hero's story. We've developed six stages in the journey and we're going to cover each one for a month for the next six months and see what we can discover about this story. We hope that you'll join us for this journey of Unveiling Your (Our) Creative Superpowers.
All good characters have a rich backstory and you learn the most about a person when you find out what happened in their past and how that influenced their current behavior. Backstories don't have to be bad or full of trauma to be influential, it's the decisions we make in response to our backstories that make all the difference - whether positive or negative. We all have opportunities for character development, moments when we can choose our response and whether or not to align ourselves with the lessons of our past. Those decisions shape our futures by setting us up for continued responses of a similar nature going forward. Responding with anger, bitterness, and inner vows to never be hurt again lead to super villains whose purpose in life is self-protection and revenge. Forgiveness, vulnerability, and love as a response will lead to super heros whose mission is to help and aid those hurting around them.
Every backstory has treasure and trauma in some form as part of our inheritance from our family and history. We get to choose what pieces of our backstory to be influenced by as we walk out our journey. Each person's backstory is different and, depending on what level of trauma or stability a person has in their story, it may be easier, or harder, to have good responses in hard situations. The responses that we choose have the potential to effect generations of people after us. Have you ever met a family where anger seems to be part of their inheritance? The grandfather was angry, the father was angry, and the son grows up seeing anger as the response to have to any situation. For the son to choose a different response will almost feel like going against his very nature - but it is possible. Each person has the power to choose their response in every situation. We can break the power of negative responses that we've inherited through our backstory and choose to walk in a new response. Imagine a son whose inherited response was anger, choosing to walk in gratitude and forgiveness instead, his son will grow up seeing a positive response as the natural way, and so on. His son will still have to choose for himself but the gratitude response will be easier.
Knowing the history of our family and the inheritance available to us, either positive or negative, can go a long way toward our character development and maturity. Every backstory has treasures waiting to be discovered and invested, whether it be that aunt who quietly wrote poetry, or the grandfather who was a woodworker, or the cousins who discovered their talent for painting one day. If someone in your family has been creative than it is all the more likely that you have creative talents waiting to be uncovered as well. Even if you cannot find one positive treasure in your family to reach for, God, our ultimate Father, is full of every virtue and good thing. As His children we have the best inheritance of creativity! If we know Him, than we can always access the treasures that He has stored up for us and choose to live His response in any situation.
For more on choosing a good response to your backstory check out our book, Bright Ideas: Light Up Your Creativity. The first three chapters especially are designed to help you unpack your backstory and bring you into a lifestyle of creativity.
Have you discovered any treasures or traumas in your family? Have you been able to see the ways that they influence your decisions? What response will you choose to walk in today?
Emily is a creative entrepreneur, born in the South, raised in Colorado, and loving life in Brooklyn, NY. As the co-founder of Bright Ideas she spends her time doing freelance photography, writing music and blog post, designing pretty web things, drinking coffee, experimentally cooking, and exploring NYC. You can listen to Emily's music, follow her adventures on Instagram or Twitter, see what inspires her on Pinterest, check out her photography on Facebook, or hire her here.