Are you **it-ing** me?

Inspirational Cat Print by Stephanie Lin Roth of SWLstudio -- click for more info

But, more importantly, are you “it-ing” yourself?

Nearly 90 years ago, Martin Buber published I-Thou and introduced a new way of thinking about how we relate to others. In “I-It” relationships, we see others as objects. In “I-Thou” relationship we recognize one another’s whole divine-spark-filled humanness.

Recently, I began thinking about our own tendencies to “It” ourselves — that is, to see ourselves as objects, to see ourselves from the outside in instead of experiencing life from the inside out.

I see this most clearly in my voice students. We “It” ourselves when we guide our singing based on an imaginary sense of what we sound like to other people (as if, from inside our own heads we could even know what we sound like to outside ears). As a voicefinder, it is then my job to hold up the mirror of I-Thou love and help them experience the sensations of letting voice move through them.

Sure, outside perspectives are important.

But using this “It” view of our work, our voice, our bodies from the outset only leads us to be cut off from the Source.

Yes, God willing, your voice, your art will go winging out into the world and have a life of its own. But in its making, in its birthing, it does no good to feel it as anything but internal to you, rooted in the core of your being.

What helps you stop it-ing yourself?

3 thoughts on “Are you **it-ing** me?

  1. I find the same tendency happening when I’m writing. Of course, at times it is essential to look at my writing from the external point of view, such as when I’m writing something meant to instruct or inform. But in writing prose or poetry, I very often get caught up in the external (how the reader will view it) rather than the internal truth of expression. I’m trying to learn to let that go completely until the editing phase, and not self-edit as I write. It’s a challenge.

  2. Yes, Kasey, I think first writing and only then editing provides a nice way of thinking about how to compartmentalize this in a very healthy way. I do wonder if this process is different for different types of creative work.

  3. I have definitely “been there, done that” with my art. I have often taken into consideration whether I think that enough people will be interested enough in what I am making to buy it, or if I can make it affordable. I have found myself moving away from this lately though. I am thinking about what I want and need to create for my own spirit to be joyous. After I have created for me then I can also make some downsized versions that others can afford if necessary. I’ve only just started this process, so I’ll see how it works.

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