August 17, 2014

Why Pain Could Be the Best (Untapped) Creative Tool. ~ Sarah Harvey


Warning: Naughty Language! 

What happens when you work yourself into a frenzied state of anger, jealousy, sobbing sadness, contempt or indignation?

You feel so consumed with these raw, yucky, dark and negative emotions that you’re actually afraid you’re going crazy.

Why does it seem like nothing else exists, or has ever existed but this feeling?

You feel like you’re going completely fucking crazy.

Time stands still.

You feel restless, and your heart pounds quickly, nervously.

Your world has shrunk to an infinitesimal size and you literally have tunnel vision.

For these moments, these hours, it’s like nothing else exists. Not even yourself.

How to see your way out?

I don’t know. At least not for sure, and not completely.

But, I’ll tell you a secret:

You can use this pain. You can use it for so, so much.

Today, I worked myself up into such a rage that I literally could not see straight. My entire body ached, my stomach turned and my mind raced. The hours could not have ticked by any slower, I started to think that time was frozen and that this day would never fucking end.

I started to wonder if the clock was playing a cruel trick on me.

No, I was playing a cruel trick on me.

I just couldn’t just let myself be. I wanted more than anything to get out of this state. I tried to force it. Emotions this intense can feel scary.

But, forcing them, wishing them away didn’t help. At all.

So I let myself run with it. I said “Okay, get as angry as you want. Let me feel it all, all of the pain, the anger, the grief. I want it all.”

Strangely enough, this went over much better.

From there, I could begin. I could harness those feelings into something creative (this article, some dance choreography).

The anger, rage and indignation I had been feeling were the perfect kick in the butt to get creatively motivated.

When we get into very energetically intense states, we have to handle them carefully. If we do, they can actually be a creative asset to our lives, our work and our relationships

First, allow them to be. Good luck telling your insane, pissed off self to get lost. It’s not gonna work. You’re mad, upset or jealous for a reason. It is perfectly alright. In fact, it’s pretty beautiful. Let it be.

Having a softer attitude of acceptance will give you deeper access to your feelings. Then, you can really dig in and harness these strong emotions for your own benefit. They are powerful and can give you the passion and drive that you need to pour yourself directly into your creative endeavors.

Paint, write, sing, dance, cook. Put all of your snarly, yucky, tangled emotional self into it. Don’t hold anything back. Nothing whatsoever.

Doing this will expel the energy that was uncomfortably circulating throughout your body, without telling yourself to “be ok” or pretending that you’re not angry or upset.

And, you’ve created art in the process.

Use your pain. Use it for all that its worth.

It’s especially perfect to harness these feelings when you’re really in that state because you can write about it, dance about it, sing about it with such great accuracy. You’re not talking from second-hand experience here. You’re able to access a deeper part of you and this allows you to beautifully connect with others who have shared your experience.

Take that risk and utilize your pain.

Dip into those seemingly shark infested emotionally charged waters, and wash yourself in the water of your own pain. You can create anything you want from it.

Anything you want at all.

It’s the ultimate creative freedom. Use it well.



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 Editor: Emily Bartran

Photo: GailAnneHoward/Flickr


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