Wednesday, October 17, 2012

I Never Knew I Was Bruce Banner

"Conflict breeds creativity".  Thank Dr. Gregory House for that line (or actually the writer of the show).  If it hasn't been apparent to you yet, yes I was and still am a fan of the show.  As a matter of fact, if you must know, I like waking up to it.  No, I don't have my television turned on upon waking up.  I do, however, find it cool that I wake up feeling like a genius when I use my House ringtone as my morning alarm.  It's either that or I wake up as a super hero using my Batman/Dark Knight ringtone.  Either way, I wake up like I'm about to kick some ass.  Really.  Go check out the links and see how they make you feel.  (Yes I'm a dork...a very cool dork, admit it!)

I like getting fired up like that, feeling as if I'm an angry genius doctor, out to solve the most amazing puzzles of the day, or an angry millionaire-turned-ninja with deep-seated issues taking it out on crooks and fighting for justice.  The truth is, anger can be a good thing, an inner conflict that could stir interesting emotions which could then lead you to the desire to paint those emotions using colorful words, images, or whatever suits your fancy.  The key here is to make sure that you can control your anger instead of the other way around.  Let's face it.  Anger or any other emotion never just magically evaporates.  So while it's there, why not make friends with it while maintaining control.  And how do you know you are in control?  To me, the gauge is in seeing that you are making some sort of progress.  Think of it as realizing the difference between a rant and a reflection.  

A rant focuses on expression, a spewing of whatever is eating you up from the inside.  A reflection entails an effort to go back in, dig deeper, ask questions and search for answers.  A highly-creative rant can turn into a really interesting read.  However, if all you do is rant day in and day out, essay after essay, then face it.  It gets old and tiring.  You're just stuck, plain and simple.  If you've ever known someone who, every time you meet, speaks only of the same thing, the same hurt, the same nastiness ad nauseam, you know how off-putting it is.  Without introspection and doing the dirty work of rummaging through the muck in order to find pockets of wisdom, you're bound to just keep replaying the emotion like a tired and broken record.  The initial creativity sparked is bound to stagnate and will cease to be enticing.  

Oh what I wouldn't give to have endless creativity!...(I didn't just dare the Universe to send me an endless supply of drama with that pronouncement, did I ?)  The truth is, I can handle some conflict, bear a certain level of callousness with my heart.  Hey, it's all part of life and I can certainly use some feistiness to push me on the treadmill and then have my fingers type away and hit 'publish' on here.  After all, anger, disagreements, pain and heartbreak always offer great material for any creative output.  Not only that, conflict and competition are also proven effective driving forces behind the desire to do better and prove one's capabilities (Did you see how exciting the Presidential Debate was last night?). But when the inner turmoil gets to toxic levels and just makes me want to bash the other person on the head, I find that only one thing works for me, at least temporarily, or until I don't feel the urge to strike back anymore.  I walk away, either figuratively or literally.  I ignore and put it aside.  I try to forget about it and distract myself with things that could either calm me down or make me happy (e.g. an entertaining show, enjoying great food, being with positive people, etc).  You might have other ways of coping but for me, this is what works.  This is what keeps me from biting someone's head off...literally at times.

Other than creative pursuits, how do you deal with conflict, whether internal or inter-personal?