Written by Andrea
“The desire for self expression afflicts people when they feel there is something of themselves which is not getting through to the outside world” Fay Weldon
While ago we had a fantastic group on self expression. One lovely freedom fighter said for her “expressing was getting what’s on the inside out”. That really hit the nail on the head for me. But, what are you expressing with behaviours and what are you expressing with your body?
Self expression need not be destructive. Apart from verbal expression there are so many ways to communicate who you are to the world. Think about the clothes that people wear, the jewellery, the way people wear their hair or do their make-up. Everyone is communicating something each minute of the day. What is the message you want to send out to the world?
I realise that for many years I was telling the world that I thought I could not cope, that I should be pitied for all that I had to deal with. I used my body to convey this message. With behaviours I was punishing my body and expressing my self hatred, anger and my inability to cope well in life.
What I learned along the way though was there are better ways of communicating such as asking for help and PRACTICING the advice given. It’s ok to be angry but there are better ways of expressing anger than destroying the only body that you have.
Have you ever really looked at some people’s art and realised they are expressing themselves on canvas? Don’t writers express through their writing? Have you ever noticed dancers expressing themselves in they way the move?
Expressing can be done consciously and unconsciously. When you choose the clothes you are going to wear it’s a conscious decision and you are expressing yourself with your clothes. An example of an unconscious expression is the way you walk. How many people walk with their heads down hoping the world passing by won’t notice them? That’s one of the big things I noticed about myself after recovering, in the days of condition I walked with my head down almost hanging to the ground, never noticing anything that was going on around me. Now I walk with my head up, looking around, actually taking in the world instead of hoping it will pass me by.
I don’t feel the need to hide anymore, I deserve to be here as much as everyone else does.
Think about when you were a child. Children have a natural ability to live fully self expressed. Go to a playground and watch children move. You can learn so much from children.
A big part of recovery is learning “Who am I?” How can you express this in a positive way? Taking small steps can be helpful such as expressing through:
Use these, add to them but USE them.
You are unique, don’t be afraid to express your uniqueness