The Beauty in Raw Emotions
By: Mandy B. Anderson
There is a beauty in raw emotions that often helps others process their feelings, connect with God, and eventually heal from the emotions they can’t express on their own.
Just the other night I was writing in my journal and processing my thoughts and feelings about some music that I had just listened to. You see, it was a punk rock band from the UK that I’m just getting acquainted with. Not my usual genre to choose that’s for sure!
Moment of honesty here:
Writing this blogpost right now is hard for me because I don’t want to be judged for listening to a band that has explicit lyrics. (Silly, I know.) The fact that I feel that way just proves to me that it’s time to speak up about creativity and the way that God allows our hearts to heal through the pain we experience in life. It’s often not pretty and rarely ever squeaky clean. Anyway, I digress. Back to the point…
The ability to heal one’s emotional pain through creativity is one of God’s greatest gifts.
This revelation came from listening to a song called Letter to the Lost. Written by the lead singer, Jamie Campbell Bower, it is about a childhood friend of his who committed suicide. The lyrics are raw. His emotions, displayed by his vocal techniques, are thick with vulnerability, regret, anger, and authenticity. I found myself having a ton of respect for this 28-year-old actor/model/musician because it takes courage to write gut-honest words in one’s own journal, let alone as lyrics that will be shared with the world.
Creativity is messy. It always has been. Even in the Bible you see the greats of faith wrestling with their raw emotions in creative ways. King David wrote songs and poems about it and his words were raw and gut-honest! And I bet he felt much better after he wrote them. In fact, I know he did because his words in the book of Psalms often vacillate between vulnerable emotions of depression and life-giving words of hope all in the same passage!
There is a beauty in raw emotions that too many people are missing out on because they don’t slow down to process what they are feeling.
I think that’s why I identified with the emotions in the song I listened to. Because I’ve been there, too. I’ve wrestled with the questions that come from dealing with death and depression. I have stared anxiety in the face – and survived. My regrets, and the anger I suppressed at certain situations or people in my life, have been faced down. It was messy; raw; totally ugly and gut-wrenching at times. It was anything but squeaky clean! Yet, through it all I’ve learned to be authentic with myself, and those around me, even when it’s messy.
The beauty in raw emotions is found through the creative process because creativity helps us heal. It doesn’t matter the method – whether painting, writing, music – it doesn’t matter. The results are what’s important. It helps you heal first and then – if you’re brave enough to share it with the world around you – it helps others heal, too. Sometimes it even helps others step into the beautifully whole destiny that God has designed for them. And that’s pretty cool, I think.
So what about you, dear friend?
Have you found the beauty in your raw emotions yet? Will you let yourself ugly cry while listening to music that helps you process your feelings? Are you taking your thoughts and emotions to paper, scribbling them out like your life depends on it? If not…what are you waiting for?
Don’t waste another day hiding from the emotions that are bubbling deep inside of you. Let them out. Be courageous and face them. Bring them to God. Creatively express them and see what He does with it.