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At the end of every year, I have a tradition of looking back to see what I have done, the steps that I have taken, the joys and pains that I have experienced, etc., before I close the year and welcome the new one into my life. On the strong recommendation of a good friend, I joined Critique Circle late this year. If I were to summarize in one word what I have gained from this platform, I would say growth.
I was not looking for a place to practice writing. I have not posted one story, but I have given a few critiques. Where is the growth in critiquing other people's writings?
Everything we experience in life is a reflection of our inner landscape. When you look at something and you cry, it's not because that thing makes you cry, but rather, it's because you have certain memories and trapped emotions inside you. And that thing is only a button for you to re-experience your emotions.
I have gone through quite a few stories, each of which functions as a mirror for me to look closely at myself. It is a good place for self-introspection, because being in the capacity of a critter, I have to express what's being stirred inside of me. This platform encourages me to be in touch with my deeper emotions and thoughts, things that are often elusive as we focus most of our energy and attention on what's outside of us rather than what's inside of us.
When our awareness is outside, we are easily lost. When we are self-aware, we are grounded and present. With that, we begin to grow as a person.
I am a highly sensitive person. For most of my life, I tried to block out external stimuli. Over time, I become disconnected, aloft, ungrounded, constantly drifting. Being a critter here lets me reclaim my sensory perception, in order for me to read the thoughts and emotions that are not actually in the words, but between the words and in the air. It is very rewarding to reclaim a lost ability.
What else did I learn from my experience here? I am starting to see that artists (writer, singer, dancer, painter, etc.) have a very important role in society. They bring out the strength and beauty of the human spirit. They illuminate and inspire, nourish and nurture the human spirit.
A great artist is a great engine that possesses the strength and ability to internalize lower energy, transmute it, and externalize higher energy to uplift the spirit of humanity.
This platform gives me the opportunity to see that, and to understand that I have to invest in myself, to reach my highest potential, in order to be a great writer, so that I can bring light, love, joy, and wisdom to the world.