Writing that song about it or drafting that painting series is part of the healing process, but it isn't everything.
Expressing pain, hurt or struggle is key to healing. Healthy expression, I should say. Creatives are pretty good at this. We all have a playlist ready to go for days and seasons of hurt, grief and just feeling down or lost. We have our go-to movies and books. But there's more to it. We have to address it.
Here's a simple rhythm to work around as you attempt address, heal and grow in maturity and clarity as creatives on mission.
Reflect on past events that have brought similar hurts, struggles. What were some of the characteristics? How were you involved? Pray for insight, understanding and truth.
Observe your own thoughts, words, actions and beliefs that helped foster this current turmoil. What are the common threads to the past? How did you respond and why? What did you handle well with grace and truth? Where did you fall flat?
Discuss these observations with a trusted friend or partner. Journal for added insight. Be honest, clear and try to connect the dots between present and past. Strengths and weaknesses. Righteous choices and sinful actions.
Make a plan for moving forward. Who do you need to apologize to? What personal parameters do you need to set up for healthy growth? Which weakness can you begin to address intentionally? What action steps are you going to personally own and invest in for mature growth?
How will you hold yourself accountable? Yes, you can and probably should invite in a close friend, partner, bandmate or spouse for accountability. But the the goal of a mature creative is to be able to hold ourselves accountable in real time.
Act on it. Today. Take a bite out of the healing process by taking a healthy step forward in your plan. Pray for courage and strength to grow.
Let me add that if your plan involves drugs, booze, revenge, porn or a random sex romp, well, you can guarantee another season of pain and suffering. The world is big and incredible and full of divine adventure - go connect with that.
Oh, and just in case you're wondering, maturity in how you process and grow from wounds won't stifle your ability to create the art you want to create. In reality, living your freedom will foster greater depth and insight into a whole new world of creativity.