We often measure our progress by others’ appraisal. We perceive by their elation or low tabulation of likes what works. Thus, we add to life a distress of our own making by placing our sense of well-being in others’ hands.

The following is one of my favorite stories. It shows how even a remarkable figure can be overlooked. One day a young man drew near to a mighty prophet in the gate, and said, “Please tell me, where is the seer’s house?” And the mighty prophet answered the young man and said, “I am the seer.”

The way this story unfolds flies counter-intuitively to what anyone would expect. The prophet displays no striking aura or impressive Hollywood attributes to impress the young man. The seer could have been a gardener or a lowly shepherd. A commoner. Unlike the TV evangelist of today, there was technical wizardry to distinguish him from the rest of humanity. Nevertheless, the prophet was a monumental Biblical figure named Samuel who left an undeniable legacy like few men in history.

Edith Nesbit, a British children book author, expressed how little we count for in the world. However, she places one disclaimer — the exception being those who love us. To paraphrase her words, the consideration we receive as adults is no longer the same as the consideration of childhood, free, ungrudging and invariable, but rather conditioned by the services we render and the extent to which we are pleasant or useful.

Unfortunately, this utilitarian mindset shapes how we see ourselves. Approval is measured out not by merit, but external attributes. We try to reach an unattainable celebrity status, by dressing in certain ways, following the self-help gurus of the day, getting plastic surgery or bodybuilding. These strategies, however do nothing to alleviate our sense of love and belonging.

In other times, people had to write out their thoughts in private notebooks with no immediate responses. They relied upon the inner motivation that came from attaining personal development. There was never any concern for how many likes or comments each entry might gain.

For this reason, creativity is and has been a redeeming kind of therapy. We need to express ourselves even when no one is out there to cheer us on. It allows us to look at ordinary life through the extraordinary lens of love, truth and beauty. It starts off with a rough draft. We go back to it until new insights appear while learning to express ourselves in more engaging ways. All this allows us to transcend the daily demands and pettiness through the higher self.

As long as we inhabit this common body, people will overlook our innermost qualities. It is up to us to believe in those extraordinary qualities no matter how often they are overlooked. Those qualities are like invisible friends. Few have the ability to see or appreciate them.

~ vincenzo ©

The beauty of creative writing is seen in its power to awaken imagination, emotion and pathos – facets normally kept in check. In it we discover a kinder, more noble world. We embrace its vitality even when real time may be insipid and cold. It is a time machine allowing the mind’s eye to visit distant lands in other eras. It is connecting with open hearts on a level rarely achieved in verbal interactions.

For some, blogs are an unmasking of the wounded self, where we attempt to calm and reconcile the aching, elusive inner world of conflict and emotions. It is also a day by day, week by week reconnection to the wonderment and awe of the ageless inner child. ~ vincenzo ©

Strength of character is learning to express yourself even when no one is cheering you on. ~ vincenzo ©

Through classic literature we are at once in touch with authors of the past who transcend time with their literary wisdom and genius. Their love of life touches us to the core while reminding us of the brevity of life’s sojourn. ~ vincenzo ©

Writing is not just another way to communicate. It is the deepest and most soulful. ~ vincenzo ©

Most of us were born into an inhospitable world. I know I was. It rarely consults us or adapts to our preferences. Moreover, it often assumes a posture of inflexibility, judgment and/or indifference. These insular traits hardly ever get questioned, though no-one can deny their deadening effect. Jesus expressed this fallen state of humanity when he referred to the people as like sheep without a shepherd.

Acts of kindness however, beautify life. They are a source of blessing when they come from a place of strength. It’s never about yielding our sense of well-being into someone else’s hand. It is about showing generosity of heart, even in the face of possible indifference. It’s never in vain to show thoughtfulness and care even when someone doesn’t value it. Love avoidance doesn’t make caring expressions less valuable. The failure of someone to respond is often a sad reflection of the wounded self. ~ vincenzo ©

I first wrote this entry for its therapeutic value. I grew up clueless and highly disconnected when it came to emotional inner reality. To make matters worse, I never paid attention to the consequences of this nameless, soul-killing condition I am about to describe.

Leo Tolstoy, an awe-inspiring writer of classic literature masterly portrayed this phenomena in his novel “The Death of Ivan Ilyich”. In the story he reveals society’s commitment to emotional dishonesty (the antonym of emotional inner awareness) where everyone is wanting the main character, Ivan to believe he would pull through his sickness when all evidence was proving contrary. In the end, death not only related to the physical realm, but an extreme emotional disconnection from others. As one literary commentator wrote,

“The artificial life is marked by shallow relationships, self-interest, and materialism. It is insular, unfulfilling, and ultimately incapable of providing answers to the important questions in life. The artificial life is a deception that hides life’s true meaning and leaves one terrified and alone at the moment of death.”

Since the beginning of my childhood, life, like the robotic walking brooms from Fantasia, kept sweeping my feelings under the carpet. When anyone attempted to draw me out (even as an adult), I froze with discomfort. I never imagined how this frozenness could melt. I never dreamed how creative expression could pave the way to new awareness. I never considered myself worthy of this elusive yet necessary realm called emotional inner reality. ~ vincenzo ©