Jealousy (and a know thyself art therapy directive)

I have jealousy on my mind. What is it? Why do we feel it? What’s the message?

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Jealousy, by definition, is the fear that someone else will take what you perceive to be yours—you feel jealous when an attractive (better), powerful (better), amazing (better) person is talking to your significant other.

I know the feeling. It sucks. It’s fear and anxiety. Anger, to try to fend off the fear and anxiety. There is certainly a feeling of crazy. Pain, hurt, doom, those come to mind as well. And physically I feel jealousy right in the pit of my stomach. Where it likes to punch me until I feel like even more of an idiot.

An idiot. Right. Because along with the physical and emotional crap, there is also the self-talk that likes to remind me that I am a crazy, stupid, idiot, dumb, over-the-top a-hole. Because when one part of me is feeling jealous another part of me is telling that part to shut up. But there’s more! On top of the name-calling, my terrorist is also making up stories!!! Like the most fantastical, out of this world, should-be-made-into-a-motion-picture stories about things that do not exist. And my terrorist feeds my emotions and it would seem as though my emotions are starving.

Turns out, jealousy is a quality of the insecure. In fact, there is a school of scientific thought that states that jealousy is a feeling that promotes survival. Way back whenever it encouraged the protection of ones mate and increased the likelihood of procreation. Yeah. These days, though, it’s a signal to look inside. It is a reminder to find your center and if this is your first time, it is encouragement to look for it. How do you find your center? Well, who are you? Grab a paper and pen (pencil, whatever) and draw a circle with a person inside of it. That’s you.

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How do you identify yourself?
I am a mother, wife, art therapist, sister, daughter, artist, yogi…etc.
Write it down outside of the circle.

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Now what if a tornado hit and I lost everything? Husband and kids, gone. Family, gone. Job, gone. Who am I then? Who am I at my core? Who am I without the masks that I switch in and out of?

Try to think of the qualities that each mask requires…get into the feeling.
I am love, compassion, empathy, creativity, awesome (that’s a joke), funny, etc.
Write yours down inside of the circle.

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Who are you?

Now take it a bit further. Assign a color to each quality. On a new piece of paper draw a figure.

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Using each chosen color figure out where each quality resides in you and illustrate it. Don’t think too hard; go with whatever comes to you first.

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Who am I?
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Ingredients
  1. paper
  2. writing utensil
Instructions
  1. Draw a circle.
  2. Outside of the circle draw/write who you are. How do you identify yourself?
  3. Inside the circle draw/write the quality or feeling of each identifying trait that you wrote inside of the circle. There may be more than one quality for each trait.
  4. Assign a color to each quality.
  5. On a new piece of paper draw a figure.
  6. Using each chosen color figure out where each quality resides within you and illustrate it.
  7. Look at you!
Melissa Fannin http://melissafannin.com/

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