Art Therapy and Vulnerability: Slowly Learning to Love Ourselves
Vulnerability has always been a big deal to me. Like many people, I worry if others will see my flaws with acceptance, understanding, and awareness of my strengths. Now as a mental health practitioner, I hope my clients will feel safe as they open-up and share their vulnerabilities with me.
You might be wondering why there is a snail in a scribble for a segment about vulnerability. It is a reasonable question to ask, and there are surprisingly many reasons for it.
Initially, a snail was not intended at all – only the scribble. I decided to make a “scribble drawing,” because the Art Therapy directive helps people create when nervous to express themselves. For this directive, a person just has to draw a scribble, and then use that scribble to make whatever image they see in the lines. The image can then be a starting point for self-exploration and valuable insight. I love this directive because people can discover and share something about themselves in a non-threatening and rewarding way. After I found a snail in the lines, I remembered some important qualities of vulnerability.
Like the spiral in a snail’s shell, extending ourselves outward lets us share our beauty. Our strengths and successes are worth celebrating, while our flaws and challenges are worth admiring. We all face obstacles, and it is inspirational to survive and thrive with them every day. There are people who will admire your authentic self, and you can form closer, genuine connections because of it.
Snails’ shells are also their homes, and like our vulnerabilities, they are carried everywhere. Though we can work on bettering ourselves, no one will ever be perfect. We will always have quirks and shortfalls, but that is what makes us individuals and human. Our bodies and minds are parts of us, and accepting them allows us to carry a comfortable home within. Vulnerability can be scary, and it is a fear that I continue to challenge myself with every day. However, the more I have learned to love myself, the less I have worried about the reactions of others. Sharing my authentic self has helped me form irreplaceable bonds, and I hope that my clients and readers will be rewarded with such an experience.
Give the scribble drawing a try, and see if you can find more to discover and love about yourself. Being comfortable with vulnerability may take time, but like the snail, we will slowly get there.