“You want me to splatter the paint??”
Puzzled by my counselors’ instructions as I sat in my recliner on the other side of the screen, I contemplated her suggestion. Though it wasn’t long before my perfectionist and OCD spirit immediately bounced back in protest.
“But it won’t look nice and neat. And I won’t be able to control the paint…And…”
Listening as she folded up her notebook and put away her pens at the conclusion of our session, she then leaned forward with a slight smile, “Exactly. But, Alisha, I believe you can do it.”
For the rest of the evening and the following days, our conversation ruminated through my mind. Still, no matter how hard I tried to ignore the emotions of all the flashbacks and nightmares raging within, it felt like a whirlwind, gaining more and more momentum, attempting to take me down with it.
Nonetheless, late one evening as I again sank deep in a pit of unpleasant memories, I was desperate for relief and decided to pull out a canvas and my paint set. Sitting at my wooden table for several minutes with the white canvas, unflawed and perfect, before me, I finally picked up the slender paint brush and squeezed a dollop of green paint on its tip. Come on, Alisha. It’s just paint. Worst case, you just throw it away.
Taking a big deep breath, I twisted my wrist so the brush faced the canvas. Using my right thumb to pull the soft bristles back, I held tight, then released once. Then again and again. With each splatter came ease in my spirit, like a balloon being deflated, only amplifying as I added color after color.
And then it hit me…. The colors are like our emotions.
Just like my initial resistance, we often attempt to control or only show certain colors of “good” emotions. We hide away shades of anger or jealousy for fear of anyone else finding out how we are really feeling. Telling ourselves, they might not even let me in the church if they know I am feeling angry, especially at God. I have to smile and just be happy…
Or we might try to numb or dull our emotions because of their overwhelming nature or so the world may see us as “perfect”, “flawless”, like my original blank canvas.
We long to fit in, rather than revealing the mess inside of us.
Yet, even Jesus experienced ALL emotions. And as it says in Genesis 1:27, we were created in HIS image. Therefore, in the coming weeks, we are going to tackle this pressing issue by diving deep into the colorful world of emotions.
Through the study of scripture, we will look at emotions individually, examine their purpose, examples, as well as identify healthy coping skills and resources, so we may see the value and beauty in expressing all of our emotions in order that we may become the masterpieces God’s created us to be. Thus, I pray you will join me on this journey. Emotions do not have to be scary.