How Does Creative Expression Help Us to Know Ourselves Better?

I have several songs in my music collection that speak to me. There’s a dance performance that moves me every time I see it. And an essay from my favorite author helped form my beliefs as I was developing my own political identity.

It seems art can sometimes communicate directly with our soul. How does creative expression help us to know ourselves better?

Related questions: Why do we like what we like? What are the benefits of fiction? Why does music evoke emotion?

4 thoughts on “How Does Creative Expression Help Us to Know Ourselves Better?”

  1. Creative expression sometimes jars up against or runs parallel to something you’ve been grappling with. Who are you? A particular piece of art or literature may give you language to provide voice to something you hadn’t known existed deep in your soul before. Or the piece may run counter to your beliefs and again give you voice to articulate that.

    Sometimes there are no words … just a feeling. A feeling that makes you more comfortable in your own skin. And that’s all you needed to become more of who you already had the potential of being.

    For me Dalton Trumbo’s “Johnny Got His Gun” helped shape my views toward war.

    And while U2’s “The Little Things That Give You Away” speaks to me as a whole piece, the stanza.

    “As easy as a breeze
    Each heart was yours to please
    Is it only me who sees
    There’s something wrong there”

    is quite telling for me and my Anxiety.

    And there’s this poem about different numbers of people needed for various forms of resistance. When I find it, I’ll share it here, as it would be helpful for me these days.

  2. I find that only through my own creative expression can I truly know myself — what I’m thinking, what I’m feeling, why I’m feeling what I’m feeling, how my experiences shape my thoughts and feelings. If I’m trying to figure something out, I have to write about it. At great length. For a long period of time. Major life experiences show up in many forms of my writing, re-shaped, re-imagined, re-hashed.

    Reading others’ writing also helps me see from a wide variety of perspectives. It helps me think. Often, it helps me to understand myself.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *