In many wounded family systems, enmeshment is the name of the game, and today, I want to explore how enmeshed relationships impact the creative process in ways that might surprise you.
(We’ll also be looking at how all of this plays into magic, so pull up your Hogwarts stool.)
With enmeshment, rather than autonomous individuals having the space to connect and belong, while also tending to their own needs, there are little to no boundaries in these relationships.
You have to sacrifice your boundaries and needs if you want to belong. You can’t have both.
(This either/or tug-of-war is another common feature of enmeshment that we’ll be looking at in detail, because it has a lot to do with creative blocks.)
For example, in enmeshed relationships you’re often expected to take care of other people at your own expense, which might include:
Denying your feelings
Forcing yourself to think as they do or risk punishment
Contorting yourself to meet their expectations and feeling guilty if you can’t
Blaming yourself if things aren’t working
You might also struggle with rage, resentment, shame, and even hatred, living within these oppressive dynamics…
…which fuels fear and shame–maybe you’re secretly a bad person? Better double down even harder when it comes to taking care of others, in order to prove that you’re good.
If any of this sounds familiar, in a special email series, I’ll be exploring the connection between enmeshed relationships and your creative process.
To me, creativity is not restricted to things like painting a picture or writing a book.
Creativity is your ability to do your unique work in the world, whether that’s constructing a legal argument, planting a garden, casting a spell, raising awareness for a cause, or, yes, painting a picture.
And I say unique, because no two people will ever express themselves in quite the same way, even if a thing has been done a million times already.
Creativity involves discovering what your unique interests and latent talents are, and devoting time and energy to honing them, so you can bring these gifts into the world in a way that only you can.
And there’s a very, very, very strong connection between your ability to do the creative work of your life and your degree of involvement in enmeshed relationships.
If you’d like to join me, we’re going to begin by looking at ways to tell if a relationship is enmeshed.
Here’s a little taste:
You have a heightened sensitivity to how the other person behaves toward you. If it seems like they’re unhappy with you or withdrawing, you feel deeply unsettled and can’t relax until you “fix it.” More generally, you feel like it’s your job to manage their emotional state, perhaps by not doing or saying things that could upset them.
After that, we’ll uncover a surprising reason why enmeshed relationships can feel so damn hard to leave, even if, consciously, we know how damaging they are.
We’ll connect all of this to creativity by looking at archetypes in a Jungian Magic sense.
What the heck are they, why do they have such a massive impact on our creativity, and what’s their special connection with enmeshed relationships?
And in subsequent emails, we’ll weave in threads like feeling paralyzed by what people might think, to the extent that you’re too locked up to create…
…how relationships, creativity, and magic thrive in the in-between (even though our ego would rather avoid it like the plague)…
…staying motivated, whether that’s with a creative project, even when you don’t know how it’ll turn out, or with maintaining boundaries, even when you don’t know how other people will respond (they’re all connected!).
If this sounds like your cup of tea, join me for this limited email series.
Sign up to get an email a day (seven in total), and prepare to shift limiting beliefs around what’s possible–both in your relationships and your creativity.
I’ll see you there.