Some of us may be harboring heavy feelings from the past year. If so, you’ve likely identified a few things to lament about. However, if you are having trouble connecting with the feelings of pain, suffering, loss, sorrow, brokenness or injustice, try one of these exercises to help you dig deeper.
Click to view a gallery of images designed to evoke emotions through image associations. Identify one image that stands out to you. Spend a few minutes looking at the image and allowing your mind to make associations to people, situations, and emotions.
Explore the feelings that are awakened — especially those associated with pain, sorrow, loss, brokenness or anger. These images may remind you of a hurt you feel personally, for a loved one, or a community. It might trigger emotions about the state of humanity, our culture, and the world we live in.
Whatever the image triggers, allow yourself to feel the emotions– even if they are uncomfortable. Explore the associated thoughts and feelings that arise. Take your time processing these complicated thoughts for at least 5 minutes.
Take note of the the questions that come to your mind and begin to write them down.
Digging 7 Levels Deep
Oftentimes our emotions surface as a generalized feeling of anger or sadness. However, digging deeper can reveal more specific brokenness and sorrow lying beneath the surface
Begin by asking yourself
“Why am I angry/sad?”
Answer “I am angry/sad because____”
Follow up with the question
“Why are you angry/sad about (the above)?”
Again, you should answer with a statement like
“<The thing identified above> makes me feel _________because_________”.
You’ll continue this until you’ve asked yourself the previous question 7 times. Did you gain more clarity about why you feel sad or angry?