I found this art therapy exercise on youtube via a channel called "IABET- Consciousness Through Art." In combination with my personal therapist I started creating a series of similar art using this or similar methods. As part of the art therapy, and especially for this one in particular, after the artwork is finish you spend time processing the art by having "conversations" with it which allows you to have a better understanding of what you are feeling or going through. Its an uncomfortable process sometimes but an effective one for those who are struggling with identifying or accepting their emotions or emotionally expressing themselves.
You can locate the video here: youtu.be/TcGPc80f2VM
This piece is about processing Anger. More specifically it is about processing anger related to trauma. This one was hard for me to complete because I tend to reject or dismiss all of my anger as irrelevant, irrational, or just altogether harmful and therefore something to be boxed away and ignored.
- Who or what are you?
I am the enlivening. [I feel like there's lots of background screaming or ambient noise]
- Why have you come here?
- What necessity?
- What does enlivening mean?
[a snarl?] That which they cannot take away. That which we keep but cannot hold. That which enlivens the dead and dying and brings new life to the forsaken, forgotten, hidden, and unspoken. I am the enlivening. All fear me.
- Why do they fear you?
Pain. Rebirth is pain. Rebirth is suffering. Transformation is pain. Transformation is suffering. I require a sacrifice too costly to bear.
- Do I fear you?
No, I am your fear. Yes, because I am. Yes, because you are.
- What sacrifice do you require?
Death. To enliven, I require death. Feed me the dead, sickly, and dying, and I will use the pain it brings to break all chains, all barriers, all limitations, all obstacles between to enliven you again.
- ... Do you want to hurt people? I'm afraid you'll hurt someone... like they hurt me.
Everyone hurts. I am a face of pain, I eat the pain, I echo the pain. I do not make the pain.
- But don't people who are angry cause pain to others?
I am not the same, I am not "others"
- That's not an answer.
And that was not truly a question. It was an answer seeking confirmation. You cannot lie to me here.
- What is your purpose?
- What is that?
Who you are and who you will become. I will enliven you.
- I really don't think I understand what that means.
You don't need to understand. You need to feed me. You lie again. Hiding is a lie.
- You are... Very rigid aren't you?
Pain always feels rigid to those who are familiar with it the most. Truth is a face of pain. You hate this. You honor this. You will honor this.
- But I don't want to be in pain. They say I should let you go...
They are irrelevant. They are pain too. I will eat them to enliven you.
- I don't think "eat" is a very nice thing to say.
Pain is a not a very nice thing to feel.
- So are you anger or are you pain?
... I am a rendering of both and many others.
- Is there something you need to tell me?
Break. You need to break. I cannot enliven what is not dead. You need to break so I can make you whole again. Stop fighting me. Break.
- I don't want to.
Good. When you finally do break. I will have lots of pain to rebuild you with. You will break eventually. Whether you want it or not. You need it.
- I hate those words. Those are his words.
They are ancient words they do not belong to him. He made you his need to break because he couldn't break himself.
- Will I become like him if I don't break?
- Will I become like him if I do break?
Likeness is a shallow light. A shadows reflection thinly stretched across an abyss. Perhaps you will contain many likenesses. But you will never be him. Only yourself, enlivened.
- -sigh- I don't think I like you.
I don't care if you do or not. I'm not here to like. I'm here to enliven.
- ... Why do I feel like crying whenever I'm angry?
It is the pain. You're tears are my blood through the cracks. You need to break. You cannot be contained, you have learned this. You still do not listen.
- Maybe once everything stops being annoyingly cryptic and symbolic I will. Or maybe you could just say what you mean without being mystical about it.
- Are you a rock?
No. I am a pit.
- Pit as in tar pit or pit as in fruit stone? You kinda look like coal to me.
Fruit stone. I burn because I am growing. I am enlivening.
- What do the blue spikes mean?
They contain me, and I contain them. They are wardens, gate keepers. They are pain and suffering.
- And the red box?
- And the spinning gold and black circles?
What will be, and what was. I am growing outside of your control. I am always present. I am. I will ever be.
- I'm tired.
I know. Not all pain is chosen. You are learning how to choose. But you need to break soon.
- Or what?
There is no "or" you need to break soon. You will break.
- I'm really not digging your vocabulary...
Because you want to avoid the layers of them. You want them to be bad, so you don't have to break. It is another lie.
- Apparently I'm really good at lying to myself....
Perhaps to other parts of yourself. You cannot lie to me. I contain truth. I burn away deceit. I clear the path. I enrich the roots. I heat the heart of you. I am more than you believe me to be. It is his fault.
He made you too strong. Now you will not break. Remember what Mai told you.
- Woah wait a minute, Mai?
A door doesn't just keep people out.
- It also keeps people in...
I think I should probably go to bed now. This is getting really uncomfortable even if you are just a therapy exercise...
- I will always be here for you. I will always be waiting.
This was another one I processed with my therapist because of the difficulty I had with it. Mainly that the "conversation" felt so rigid and single minded. It was interesting to hear her take on things. The more I do these exercises the less comfortable I feel about having these "conversations" with myself, or rather with my emotions. The theory for that is that I have over-controlled personality traits which makes it hard for me to accept things like my emotions as valid. Having a "conversation" humanizes them in a way and forces me to acknowledge that what I feel is as much a part of me as the rational/reasoned part of me and is no less valid or integral to who I am. Please feel free to offer your own interpretations, but please be respectful.