Ideas are dangerous of course, but they’re also some of the best most addictive things around. When I get one of my very own and follow it to some exquisite end, words like epiphany rattle about my brain like dry beans in a bottle. I become enamored of the sound.
When I express my idea or research it, invariably I am given to pause the rattling. Differences of experience, suggestions to re-evaluate, and worst, the diminishing of my idea, hurt. Sometimes the hurt is for the best and for learning, but very often it is for the loss of ego.
I ask myself, do I become territorial and howl at my perceived detractors (usually some author long since passed or of whom I have little knowledge) or do I shrug off the internal smack talk and get back to work? The temptation to listen to every voice I create or acknowledge that tells me I am wrong is often stronger than the need to feed my own spirit. And that is a sad state of affairs as far as self worth goes. Self loathing does quite well with it though.
Actively fighting to heal from a brutal cycle of self loathing has given me the need to create several tools to identify and counteract those very strong urges that detract from my personal spiritual growth and happiness. Listening for the shrill emotional caterwauling became part of a practice to identify when I was more invested in my ego than in my learning and in my own happiness. It became an almost welcome reminder to regain connection to my own spirit.
Sometimes to do this I visualize a whirling around myself in which every insipid effort to drag me into an old habitual misery flies. I become the eye of the storm. I do not retreat, but venture inside to the core of myself where Epiphany and Peace have tea and excellent cakes. One by one I silence the smack talk and subtle denigrations by starving them of attention. That attention goes to better thoughts, better growth and creativity. The eye of the storm grows wider and wider until the caterwauling stops entirely.
Often after such practice, the need to create emerges and I’m off on a project and don’t even remember the internal strife or territorial behaviors around ideas. When I finally get back to my own original experiences, I am much more open, even eager, to allow differences entry to influence and honest consideration.
The process has been very useful in any arena of my life in which I take an active interest (which is all of them so far as I can tell).