community · Creativity · Faith

Allowing Myself to Feel

When I first came across Journal52, I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to keep up. But this is my second one in a row. I like the prompts and getting to see everyone else’s work too. Here’s mine, called “allowing myself to feel.”


Media: sharpie on a mini-notebook (maybe a 3-4″ square). Not mixed media by any means, but I’d still consider it to be part of an art journal.

Here’s the backstory: the idea originally came from a conversation I had with my boss. We were driving back from a night meeting, talking about things… you know how night conversations can get. Kind of deep. I love that. Anyway.

I’ve been struggling with some things lately, and I mentioned how I’ve been trying to decide whether or not I should allow myself to feel.

“What do you mean?” he asked.

What I mean is this: the way I see it, there are two ways to live when you’re lonely or having a hard time in this or that or the other. You can allow yourself to feel, and risk being miserable a good part of the time, or you can do your best to lock it up, ignore it, and try to push through the day as best you can… not feeling.

It definitely depends on the person. But for me, we both know, I have to allow myself to feel, even if it doesn’t feel good. Or else I’ll go crazy. And maybe I am crazy, at least a little, most of the time.

This art journal was an emotional piece for me to create. I did allow myself to feel while I drew… all the deep aches of broken relationships and heavy distances. The water flowing down over the rocks represents both sorrow and freedom; the rocks (I thought they were brown when I was journaling in the dark… turns out they’re purple) represent my community which at times holds me back and at other times holds me up.

The orange writing at the bottom is a set of lyrics from a song I had long forgotten about. I’ll end with the lyrics, because they say it better than I ever could:

“Oh Christ, be the center of our lives.
Be the place we fix our eyes.
Be the center of our lives.
You hold everything together.”


4 thoughts on “Allowing Myself to Feel

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