The above picture shows the Freedom Sculpture by an artist, Zenos Frudakis, who stated:
“I wanted to create a sculpture almost anyone, regardless of their background, could look at and instantly recognize that it is about the idea of struggling to break free. This sculpture is about the struggle for achievement of freedom through the creative process”.
Like it or not, we are all human, and part of that definition means that we are creatures whose existence is framed by emotion. Happy, sad, indifferent, scared, lonely, calm or agitated, and the list goes on. The very thing that we share, emotion, is also very unique to each person and experience. There is never a right or wrong feeling; only how we act on those emotions! When we pay attention, when we acknowledge our innermost emotions and give them expression, we are helping ourselves to expand and invite healing to come and dwell with us. That is often easier said than done, especially if we are struggling to ‘be strong’ to recover and heal from your cancer journey.
It is difficult to say what will help us as an individual to acknowledge and face our deepest emotions. There is no defined path; we must each find our own way. Our journeys, while sometimes similar to another’s, are unique. But just as we share these emotions, we can also share tools for coping. One such tool is suggested through art. Mediums such as music, visual art, poetry, literature, drama and nature can heighten our self-awareness and at times, even reach beyond to our unconscious to promote healing from within.
Catharsis is the process of releasing, and thereby providing relief from, strong or repressed emotions.
So allow yourself the time to make or enjoy art that touches you – e.g. listen to music, watch a movie, walk along the outdoor path. See the beauty of what surrounds you and allow it to gently nudge the emotions that dwell within you to the surface. Let the healing begin from within.
“I’m not sure whose story I have been telling. I’m not sure if it is mine, or if it’s some character’s I have yet to meet. I’m not sure of anything. All I know is that, at any moment, life will surprise me. It will bring me to my knees, and when it does, I will remind myself, I will remind myself that I am my father. And I am my father’s father. I am my mother. And I am my mother’s mother. And while it may be easy to wallow in the tragedies that shape our lives, and while it’s natural to focus on those unspeakable moments that bring us to our knees, we must remind ourselves that if we get up, if we take the story a little bit farther…if we go far enough, there’s love”.
Excerpt from Life Itself.