Giving Birth to Yourself

Many parents mistakenly over identify with their children. Sometimes reasons may include urges to realise unfulfilled ambitions;to correct their own childhood hurts; overprotectiveness; need to control;immaturity; or covert narcissism in general. Kahlil Gilbran writes in The Prophet (1926):

Your children are not your children.

They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.

They come through you but not from you, and though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts, for they have their own thoughts.

(omitted material)

You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.

So children are individuals and to realize individuality each person in time needs to give birth to themselves. Symbolically,creative outputs can be regarded as your ‘children’. These ‘children’ are the living arrows of personal creativity through which self expression and self identity are realized. They are more appropriate as vehicles for realizing your potential than your actual physical children.  The birth of this creative potential involves allowing part of yourself to be channelled and infused with enthusiasm and expressed in thoughts and/or  activities. Activities may include cooking; gardening; decorating; singing; dancing; sporting performance; art; writing and journaling; film and photography; innovative thinking at work; music; carpentry and handiwork; engineering; adventure; dreamwork; conversing and sharing thoughts and ideas; relationships; etc.. The important ingredient is the enthusiasm and intentionality to be personally involved and connected as opposed to just going through the motions.

When creative action takes place there is a sense of fulfillment,satisfaction and personal congruence. Lack of creative endeavour and self expression can instead lead to feelings of depression,anxiety,agitation,ennui,frustration,anger,etc.. Great artists of all types speak of their creative gifts coming through them from a place beyond. They have humility. In a way their gifts do not strictly speaking belong to them.Hence,the general public at large can appreciate that which is of collective value. True creativity can lead to a gratified sense of self not inflated with grandiosity and egotism.

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