With a flourish and wave of the hand the great unveiling—-Ta-Da!  It’s kind of like the fist in the air Yes!, but more of a public viewing of your great accomplishments. But what about the frequent admonishment from my Mother “Self-praise stinks.”?  Does it really stink to pat yourself on the back and say “Well done.” I have been unable to completely disregard my Mothers edict, but I have learned that the “stink” of self-praise more often smells like the fresh air after a good rain.

My college boyfriend told me that I was not original, I didn’t create anything. I stayed in the shadow of his great, public talents. What could I do to show I was creative? What did I have to show for being me? I got very good grades and made the Deans List, nobody noticed and I couldn’t sing my own praises.  I lost weight and from out behind the curtain stepped an attractive young woman. I got noticed! finally, but being noticed by preying men was not the attention I needed. I couldn’t see that I was of value for the original I truly was. It was like behind the curtain was the great and powerful  OZ, and there I was front and center, just little old me and I had no power to make wishes come true.

I joke that it was Prozac which un-leashed my creativity. This is the truth— after extensive  therapy and taking Prozac I came out from behind the wall (not that Wall!) of depression. I realized I had been living with my brakes on.  I was in there somewhere and amazed myself with my drive to create. I started with cards, then collage and decoupage. Then I learned how to make jewelry and have made thousands of earrings. Writing came next and crocheting and  playing and making music on the banjo and ….  I had lots of Ta-Da! opportunities. I made this and this, and I continue to create.

Human doing and human being. I learned to love by being human and doing loving things. There are things you can do to show how much you love someone, but often the  love is expressed in non-visible ways: support, kindness, listening etc….   Loving is original and creative. Anger is too. When our gift of love, our creation is rejected, the hurt is very deep. We have revealed our vulnerable selves behind our masks, and we are rejected. In spite of the risks, we are charged with creating ourselves and sharing our gift with the world.

When I get to Heaven, St. Peter, of pearly gates fame, will ask me to show him what is behind my curtain, my final Ta-Da! moment. My hope is that there will be nothing behind the curtain.  I gave it all away.


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