The first time I read the section on poisonous playmates, I thought, “Oh, I don’t have any of those.”
Who would be trying to sabotage me?
That’s just crazy.
But think about whether any of the following scenarios sound a little too familiar:
1. You sit down to do something creative, and your significant other says, “You’re going to work on that? I thought we were going to watch ‘Sons of Anarchy’ together.”
2. You tell your mom that you’ve started to paint, and she says, “Do you remember how good Kim was in high school? She could paint anything, and now she works at the dentist’s office. Just goes to show …”
3. You’ve been listening to your best friend complain about her life for 30 minutes. When you suggest that she should find a creative outlet or try writing Morning Pages, she tells you that you’re “different.” And she doesn’t mean it as a compliment.
When we’re blocked, it’s easy to set our creative needs aside and be what other people “need” us to be. Who wants to deal with the guilt-tripping and the judgment? We don’t want to be accused of being selfish or not having time for other people. Selfish people are bad people, right?
So, we choose to nurture other people instead of ourselves.
But, let’s play “What If…”
WHAT IF claiming some creative time for yourself helps bring some of the spark and mystery back into your marriage?
WHAT IF your creative risk-taking inspires your mom to start playing the piano again – even if she’s “not as good” as the woman at church?
WHAT IF your best friend starts to realize that if you can be “different” and find happiness, she can, too?
Far from being selfish, nurturing ourselves could be the greatest thing we do for the other people in our lives.
***In TAW, Julia suggests that we “draw a sacred circle” around our recovery and not let other people derail us. Do you have a “poisonous playmate” or two in your life? What are you doing to protect your creative recovery from being derailed by them?***