Art Journal Therapy Activity # 43 - Healing Grief Through Art and Journaling

Painting by Shelley Klammer
Painting by Shelley Klammer

This art and written journal process will support your to heal your grief through "dual consciousness."  This process will teach you how to "unblend" from your grief and witness it from your authentic strength. This prompt offers 8 ways to express and release your pain.

 

Materials:

 

- Pen and paper or journal page

 

- Colored pencils, markers, and watercolor paint

 

 

 

 

Method:

 

At some point in our growing up years, we experience our first loss of love and belonging, and in our grief we shut down emotionally. When we store away our grief, we arrest ourselves at the age when our feelings become too overwhelming to process.

 

Grief is often difficult to heal because it holds a complex set of "younger" belief systems that continue to compound and gather speed throughout our lives with each subsequent loss and heartbreak. Grief also holds broken dreams of what we wish our past could have been, that continue to exacerbate and gather evidence as we age.

 

As we continue to verify and affirm our childhood and teenage belief systems surrounding unprocessed grief, we see through the eyes of sadness and hopelessness, and will perpetuate the feeling that we have lost something essential about ourselves that cannot be recovered.

 

When we chronically repress grief, we will feel like there is a missing piece in our lives. We will feel less alive. When we believe that this "hole" of loss is a permanent part of our psyche, we solidify the original places of loss where we believed that we could not be loved, and we can sink into depression.

 

Stored Grief Runs Our Life

 

Consider your grief from this perspective by Michael Singer:

 

"What happens to that experience that didn't make it through? What you don't realize is that that your entire experience of life is about to change because of what didn't make it through you. Life must now compete with this blocked event for your attention, and the impression does not just sit there quietly. You will see that your tendency is to think about it constantly.

 

"This is all an attempt to process it through your mind. All of that inner noise is an attempt to process the blocked energy and get it out of the way. Long term, the energy patterns that cannot make it through you are pushed out to the forefront of the mind and held until you are prepared to release them.

 

These energy patterns hold a tremendous detail about the events associated with them. As you willfully struggle to keep these events from passing through your consciousness, the energy first tries to release by manifesting through the mind. This is why the mind becomes so active."

 

When the energy cannot make it through the mind because of conflicts with other thoughts and mental concepts, it then tries to release through the heart. When you resist even that release, the energy gets packed up and forced into deep storage within the heart. In the yogic tradition, that unfinished energy pattern is called a Samskara. It's an unfinished energy pattern that ends up running your life."