I hardly wrote a word during the most active years of my alcoholism. It was as though my disease had me absolutely convinced that I could never live as a sober person – much less write again.
Writing and art had been such a part of who I was growing up – a coping mechanism, really – but in the throes of alcoholism, I’d forgotten how to do me.
Art brings others into our world with a sensory invitation. We want others to know how we are feeling – and there are so many feelings, so much of the time. We are a sensitive bunch!
How could I invite others to share my life with a sensory invitation when at the same time I was numbing my senses?
Have you ever forgotten how to do you?
A Muse is the inspiration or influence for creation – often through music, poetry, writing and other artistic forms.
It is the narration in your head that you simply must put on paper.
It is the painting that is in your spirit and must be released onto the canvas.
It is the prose deep within you that longs to become a poem.
It is the comedic and the tragic in the words of a song.
It is the still, small voice that implores you to “Make your mark on the world. You are worthy to do that!”
The disease of addiction convinces many creative minds that they must drink or use drugs to unlock the creative force. It had me fooled for years. I actually believed, “Take away my drink, and you take away my Muse.”
Nothing could have been further from the truth. To the active addict, substance takes precedence over sustenance. I know that was the case for me.
Recovery unlocks the Muse.
To my mind, God may have created the forces of science to make life possible; but, He created the poignancy of art to make life tolerable. We are given the Creative Force – and we all have it to some degree – to speak our lives to others in a way they might understand. Or to speak your life to yourself, which is a good enough reason to create!
The drug is not your Muse. The Muse was there before you took that first drink or smoke, before you first used.
It isn’t in the glass or bottle or pipe or in endless chocolate chip cookies or in a slot machine or in porn. When you surrender and put down these things, that’s when you learn how to do you.
A healthy recovery program can guide you through a process of fanning the divine creative spark, because art is a spiritual pursuit. Ask God to help you do it, and He will extend a sensory invitation to you through the beauty and poignancy around you.
Your Muse – your artistic God Particle – is a spark endowed by your Creator to enable you to create. It’s where surrender-to-the-Higher-Power rubber meets the road aesthetically and musically.
What is sobriety from chemical dependency? Clarity to hear the Muse.
What is recovery? Giving the Muse a proper pulpit.
Make your mark on the world.
You are worthy to do that.
Jana Greene is a Jesus freak, wife, mother, recovering alcoholic, author and blogger at thebeggarsbakery.com. In 2001, she surrendered her will to Jesus and is still surrendering daily. She writes to let others know where to find the Bread of Life. She lives with her husband, daughters and kitty cats in North Carolina.