Perspective: Learning To Let My Light Shine

by MJ (Munro 2011)

If I thought of the word creativity or art years back, it’s likely that painting, acting, film, video, music, photography and dance would have been the main things that came to mind.  However, I have since come to believe that so much of what is seen and heard on a daily basis is a form of creativity.  It’s incredible once you really start looking around.

From an early age, I can remember loving art and taking pride in the talents I had. Creativity is such a part of me that it has become abundantly clear that if I want to have a joyous and peaceful life I need to stay connected to this energy and vibrancy that lives within me, which I believe is channeled to and through me by the Higher Power of my own understanding.

Or maybe I even have an Angel that is with me, just waiting for me to be cleared enough of all my stuff (which is why Program is such a vital part of all this), so that these works can be put into action.  And an even crazier idea … perhaps it is simply my very own spirit that is this creative force, as created by the most creative source of all.  Can you imagine? Let’s just say there is a Higher Power who created all of us, and all of the ideas that have flowed out into this world, in all the countries, in all the stores, homes, theatres, bands, dances, songs, festivals, holidays … how amazingly creative is this Higher Power!?!  It blows my mind.

MaryO-pic2-240x320As much as angst, sadness, suffering and loss can spark some fascinating and moving paintings, music or choreography in my head … I would say that at this point of my journey, keeping my body, mind and spirit as healthy as I am able to, one day at a time, is probably the most important factor in me continuing on my creative path.  It just so happens that when I am not “well,” even though at times I can create something from it, for the most part it keeps me paralyzed and unable to do anything at all.  Scarily enough, a year or five years of good intentions and project ideas can pass on by just like that.

But one thing, if anything, that I would like to express is that I am right on schedule.  I hope you don’t mind me saying that I believe you are also right on schedule, whatever that may look or feel like to you at this time.

This is a very exciting topic for me.  And at the same time, when I get excited and feel hope and positivity, and maybe even some self-esteem, I can get a bit caught in the following trap … it goes something like this:  You know how earlier I said “I can remember loving art and taking pride in the talents I had”?  Well, me saying that at first felt good, and fun to share.  But then seconds later my mind says “People are going to think you are egotistical, bragging, that’s not humble, that’s prideful, grandiose.”  And this just leads to me feeling like I’m a horrible person and I shut down, likely do something self-abusive to shut off the good feelings, and then sit there paralyzed.

So, yes, I face some challenges when learning how to honour, explore and express the artist within. I am afraid to let my light shine.  I am afraid my latest Youtube video will not go viral and that I really am an amateur going nowhere.  I am also coming to realize that this is a way of life for me that brings a fantastic abundance of peace and joy, which is so fun to share with others.

MaryO-pic3-240x180I’ve been embracing baby steps.  I have my keyboard and art supplies set up so that at any time I can access them with the least possible effort.  I “trick” myself into painting, in the same way that I trick myself into doing more step work in those times of procrastination: just one word on the paper is all you have to do tonight … just one dab of paint on the canvas … and before you know it a couple of hours have peacefully and joyfully passed by.

My spirit is vibrant and awesome.  It is filled with so much to express I sometimes think that I have self-medicated in order to tame this lion within.   It is my joy, challenge and responsibility to honour my life, my health and my recovery so that whatever is within me can be given away and shared.  I am so grateful to all who have shared their light and joys in various forms with the world.  Thank you.

Wishing you all the very best!


Editor’s Note: The artwork on this page comes to us from MJ and her creative spirit. Thank you, MJ!

A gem from our TGIF vault, originally published on November 12, 2012.

About the Authors

Renascent Alumni
Members of Renascent's alumni community carry the message by sharing their experiences and perspectives on addiction and recovery. To contribute your alumni perspective, please email