Creativity and Forgiveness: How Releasing Past Hurt Improves Creativity


When you feel yourself being creative, there is a sense of flow. Like the tides moving in and out of an estuary, being in the throws of the creativity has a felt sense of gathering and release, an enlivening exchange with the world around you.

When you hold onto resentment or withhold trust from a person based on past hurt, you stunt your natural creative capacities. Since the feeling of flow is an expression of creativity, resentment, withholding, and mistrust block such flow. They are like building a dam between you and the ocean, refusing to allow its life-giving qualities to wash through you; refusing to allow the fullness that is you to wash back into it.

Forgiveness is the process of letting go of past hurt so that your creativity can flow unobstructed. If you have an issue with a particular person, you can forgive them in person or, if you’re more comfortable, you can forgive that person on your own. Getting the desired response from them is a minor point. Since you are the one experiencing the hurt, it is up to you to heal yourself through the process of forgiving the other. If the person is no longer living, you can still write them a letter or have a conversation on your own. Be honest both with how you were hurt and, if appropriate, how you contributed to that hurt. Also ask yourself what you learned from the experience. There is always something positive in every experience. Creativity and the creative process depend on our ability to reframe difficult situations so that we can learn, grow, and benefit from them.

If this post brings anyone in your life to mind, please do not hesitate. For the empowerment of your own creativity, please forgive them in a way that is comfortable for you. The levity you will feel when you release the burden of hurt will be a huge benefit to you and your creativity.

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