Feelings become a picture

The other day I was feeling some inner turmoil, so I decided to draw it out. I started with basic shapes: lines, dots, squares. Then I just let go of my “thinking” and drew. Everything I felt filled the paper. I finished, signed my name, and then looked at it. What was a convoluted mess of emotions inside me actually looked like a picture. Like a landscape that someone had peeled back in the center to reveal a path. The trail leads to a tiny square.

I sat back, puzzled. It wasn’t my intention to draw a picture. I just wanted to get all these feelings out of me. Now that it was a picture I had to figure out what it meant. More turmoil. Great.

I’ve been reading this book, To Pray & Love by Roberta Bondi for my prayer class. This week we read about “finding self”.

Jesus did not tell people to accept their roles in life and be happy with the status quo. The necessity of reclaiming this self from the grip of social, religious, and cultural expectations was a fundamental part of Jesus’ teaching (pg. 88).

So I’ve been thinking about what it means to be a “self,” to have a self to give to God. And how have I not been doing this? After some painful introspection and prayer, I’ve come to this: I have a hard time letting myself feel. Easily do I shut down, turn off my emotions, stop feeling. Which, as I’m learning in another class, a big part of my personality is feeling, so this is not good.

Perhaps the message of the picture I drew is this: when I express how I feel, let myself feel, somewhere somehow God shows up, peels back the layers and leads me to God.

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