“[C]reative action is essential to mental health and happiness. Without some form of creative action, it is hard to feel content. If inherent talents and passions lie fallow, self esteem, wellness,and joy slip away. Many people suffer from this. A lack of self-ex-pression make you feel incomplete. When you are able to create, follow your instincts, and turn dreaming into doing, euphoric moments follow.”
~The Creativity Cure, Carrie Barron, MD and Alton Barron, MD
Lately, I’ve been beset with stirrings and yearnings from my inner diva. There I was getting ready for one of my
numerous doctor appointments. Rarely a week goes by that I don’t have one and, dressing for them is, believe me, a no-nonsense affair. I grab a pair of yoga pants and a clean shirt and I’m done. Ordinarily, I spend zero time applying makeup. I think, “why bother?” I am just going to yet another doctor appointment and they don’t care how I look anyway. As I stood in front of my bathroom mirror studying my face, I heard the softest inner whisper say “wear some red lipstick.” My initial reaction was not positive. I thought, “there’s no way that I am putting on red lipstick, or any lipstick for that matter!” So ignoring the unwanted intrusion in my head, I set about brushing my teeth and taming my wild hair.
As I was doing so, the insistent whispers became a mantra and the words “wear red lipstick,” bombarded me. No kidding, this went on for a couple of minutes. I was mentally swatting the words like I would a pesky fly or mosquito. Still ignoring and rejecting the idea, I began to pay attention, not to the words, but my reaction to them. Why was I so adamantly against something as simple as wearing lipstick? Was I in such a rut that the mere idea of wearing red lipstick could cause me such angst?
Before my health forced me to resign from my attorney position, I wore makeup every day. I was a trial attorney and I routinely met with clients and witnesses, as well as appeared in court for hearings or trials. Makeup was a part of my uniform that enhanced my look and style, and I wore it for me, not for anyone else. It made me feel like I was putting my best self forward. When I went on disability, all of that changed.
In my mind, I had no reason to wear makeup. At first, I was too depressed to even consider it. As time went by, my enormous stash of makeup went untouched and unused. In all honesty, I didn’t care enough about myself or the way that I looked to bother with makeup. Under the circumstances, in pain all the time from fibromyalgia and oftentimes, migraines, taking the time to put on makeup seemed absurd to me. So, I didn’t.
By this time, my hair was tamed and I was fully dressed; however, the voices urging me to put on red lipstick remained. Still reluctant, I went to my overflowing makeup drawer, opened it and stared for some time. Lifting my eyes from the drawer, I looked in the mirror. For the first time in a long time, I studied myself. I remembered all the reasons that I loved to wear makeup; especially that it raised my self-esteem, and made me feel special. I hadn’t felt that way in a long time. I picked up my favorite red lip color carefully applied it to my lip. I thought, “Today, I wear red lipstick–for me. My inner diva smiled., and I smiled back at her with gratitude.