In honor of spring cleaning and what that looks like in terms of internal and spiritual health, it’s only right that I discuss my favorite form of therapy… A R T .
I can’t really recall what caused me to begin to create art for therapeutic relief. As a matter of fact, I’m not sure if I ever really consciously made that decision. I just found myself doing it.
I’m a writer. A poet to be exact. I’ve always been a writer, but I grew into my poetic senses during my adolescent stages. I think 7th grade was my introduction to poetry and just the power of writing and art, in general. I can recall having crush after crush, or even experiencing infatuation and obsession over all these ideas, people, and things, and not being able to freely express it all. So I took to my notebook… again, I had no idea what I was doing (I know, I’m being redundant with repeating how “innate” my journey to writing was. But I’m going somewhere with this so just trek with me!)
So as I began blossoming into womanhood, so did my emotions and issues. I’ve always been told that I am extremely emotional... and melancholy as we’ve noticed isn't that welcomed as “society doesn’t really vibe with you being in your feelings 24/7”. So, growing up, I often felt as if I was “drowning” in those obsessions and infatuations. Once I was old enough to start experiencing some problems, well that just added to the list. “Talk to Jesus” was something I heard often… and although I still love to talk to him, I know the feeling of waiting for a response from a higher being. For those of you who may have grown up in religious/spiritual households you know what I’m talking about! Sometimes, you can empty yourself out in a moment of prayer or meditation and find yourself internally “looking up” like umm… hello? Because, the response isn’t always immediate! It takes a lot of faith to trust the universe with your emotions, thoughts and needs, and by experience we know that faith takes patience. However, sometimes the patience just isn’t there, and that’s okay.
My lack of patience is what drove me to writing as a form of relief. It was the safest way that I knew how to address some overwhelming experiences. As a result it has become one of the only ways that I know how to identify with my emotions. Anxiety and depression weren’t aspects of life that were commonly identified/discussed in my religious community. While I was growing up and during some of those hard times, my pen was my form of cleansing. It was in those moments that I could sit and hone into the bare bones of my restlessness.
The beauty behind self-care, internal inventory, spring-cleaning (however you so, choose to identify it) is that it is all INTUITIVE. Your spirit can and will guide you to your outlet, if you allow it. I LITERALLY HAD NO IDEA, THAT I’D USE MY CRAFT AS A FORM OF THERAPY! And most importantly, I could never imagine the waves of healing that poetry could generate for me. Currently completing my thesis (as the exit to my undergraduate career) I’ve struggled with selecting pieces/poems to include in this project. A lot of the work is what I call “closet pieces”, meaning extremely personal, like poems that are filled to the brim with skeletons, and these pieces are what I resonate with the most because it’s my truth.
A truth that I wasn’t quite ready to share with another human being -even a therapist. Some truths that I grew tired of verbalizing in prayers, or trying to accept during meditations. Truths that just wouldn’t settle themselves until I wrote them boldly and vividly onto paper. Healed and delivered by my own words, and the power that resided within me before I even knew such existed.
Although art isn’t for everyone, a sense of relief is, and each comes in different forms. AGAIN, allow your spirit to guide you to your outlet, to your form of release. Fall in love with your way of releasing and never be fearful of the ways you heal. Find your comfort and grow madly in love with it, your spirit will reward you every time for trusting its sound judgement.