Thursday, February 14, 2013

Making Whole: Healing Through Art: Love Note to Yourself

by Diane Steinbach

Making Whole is a bi-monthly art therapy column focused on art to heal. 

With Valentine's Day being this week, I thought about how we share our love with others, but often times give away our love, without loving ourselves first. Many of us judge ourselves most harshly, are overly critical of ourselves and say things to ourselves that we would never, ever say to a beloved friend or lover. 
Love Thyself is a great philosophy, one we are all familiar with, but it is difficult for some of us to do.  Sometimes we punish ourselves for past mistakes, or refuse to forgive ourselves for our human flaws. 

Whatever our issues, Valentine's Day can serve as a reminder to care for ourselves more tenderly and see the good in ourselves that our friends and family recognize.

In this art process you are asked to first pick up a pen and paper and write down all the lovable things about yourself. Make a list of why you love yourself, or why you SHOULD love yourself. 

Then, use the media of your choice, watercolors, pen and ink, colored pencils, collage materials, whatever you like, create a valentine as big as you like for yourself. Make it as colorful and creative as you can imagine. It will be a gift to yourself and a reminder of how lovable you are.

Once done, take a black sharpie and write along the border or within the heart all the reasons you are lovable. 

Hang on a wall or display somewhere as a reminder that you are a lovable person who is worthy of love and tenderness. 

Diane Steinbach is an art therapist and the author of: Art As Therapy: Innovations, Inspiration and Ideas:, Art Activities for Groups: Providing Therapy, Fun and Function and A Practical Guide to Art Therapy Groups

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