Why we need to feel grief

“The black is more at the bottom. I put it there. The other top colors needed to fall…to dissipate into the darker floor. They needed to trickle and be enveloped and held there by the anchoring grief.”

What is your typical response when those darker, uncomfortable, and negative emotions start to rise?

Do you shove them down, or embrace them?

In this week’s episode of Art That Overcomes, I invite you into my own exploration of the way that “negative” and “positive” emotions interact in my brain, body, and artwork. We’ll be looking at a mixed media collage I created a few months ago, where the weight of grief was especially present.

Scroll down to view the art images, related free association writing, and Message From Your Future Self that I discuss in Episode 3: Why we need to feel grief.

Listen and subscribe to Art That Overcomes on Apple Podcasts or Spotify, right now! If you like it, give it a 5 star rating and review so that other Overcomers can find it too (all those listens and reviews bump it up in the algorithm).

>Missed last week’s podcast email? CLICK HERE to check out the art and writing featured in Episode 2: Self Sabotage or Victim Blaming?

Episode 3: Why we need to feel grief

Mixed Media Collage (construction paper, oil pastel, acrylic paint, mod podge glue)

“Up. Down. High and low. So much tearing, so much paper here. So many layers. All in me. All encompassing. Passing through me and in me and above me and on me. ⁠

Get it off?⁠ Or let it be — be inside me and flowing — crashing — tearing…out?⁠

No of course it has to come out, to come barreling out however it needs, and I need to allow, give the space to do that. ⁠

It seems like the antithesis of what I *should* be feeling. ⁠
⁠Shouldn’t I be grateful? Trusting? Hopeful? Bright?⁠

You should be who you need to be – that’s at the root of who you are and your gifting. You are able to stretch and be you. Full steam ahead….⁠

The black is more at the bottom. I put it there. The other top colors needed to fall… to dissipate into the darker floor. They needed to trickle and be enveloped and held there by the anchoring grief.

I feel the texture. It’s so lively and vibrant and jumps off the page. ⁠

It’s moving. ⁠

It’s Alive, FREE!⁠

Expressive. ⁠

Doing what it pleases, what it wants and needs. That’s what I need to do, how I need to be – not crawling in a hole of conformity and insecure emotions and lack and longing and longing to belong and I just need to be who I need to be for me and others. “⁠

A Message From Your Future Self

“Will you let me take care of you for a moment? Will you let me hold these big emotions?

You’re safe with me.
Take a breath. Let your body sink into the surface of your chair, couch, or bed. Rest here.

This is about you and me, right now. No one else.

Let out your tears. It’s okay. I remember this day, when the weight of so many life changes seemed to be crashing down all over again.

It feels like you have to conquer this alone….and like the weight will never leave. You are the strong one. You are the one who’s making sure others are okay. You’re the one who can’t let them down again….You can’t burden them like last time.

But what if I told you that you’re not a burden at all, and you never have been? What if I told you that from my vantage point, far in the future, it’s clear that you did nothing wrong. You devote energy to guilt and shame, but what if I held that for you…right now? What if I told you that dwelling on this weight is your choice? Our choice?

Do you believe me?

Where do you feel this weight in your body now? Your shoulders, stomach, head….all over?

Imagine this with me:

As you lay or sit there now, I come sit right along beside you. Future You, whom you trust, is here now. I gently reach over and lift that weight right off…as if it’s a tangible object.

What is the shape of that weight? The worry, fear, guilt, shame, regret, or grief…what does it look like?

You see how strong I am, and how I lift it off with such ease. You’re free to hold it again, if you need to. But I’ve got it for now.  

‘That’s it?’, Present You says.

‘Yes, that’s it’, I respond. ‘The choice was always ours.’

-Your Future Self”

Join me in the Redefined Membership!

I’m an artist, licensed art therapist, and online coach who helps women like you overcome the lasting effects of narcissistic abuse so you can get unstuck, redefine your identity, and finally build the confidence to make your daydreams a reality. I’ll teach you the same art techniques that have been life-changing in my own recovery.

It’s all about redefining YOU.

CLICK HERE to learn about the monthly Redefined Membership, which includes my 10-week Challenge, The Redefined Process.


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