If there was ever a year that I have seen anxiety threaten to overwhelm so many of us, it has been in 2020. I watched as not only it ran rampant in my own life, but hit so many of my loved ones as well.
It was then that I got the idea for this concept session: To show the feeling of anxiety.
I also knew that I didn’t want to stop there. I wanted to show my own battle with anxiety and how I have overcome it; or rather, how I manage it so much better than I used to.
Little did I realize that this shoot was going to be more therapeutic for me than I ever imagined. For example, when we were thinking of words to write on my model Bella, I tried to say that I couldn’t think of much because I don’t “speak negatively to myself like I used to.”
And then that very same day as I flipped through the photos, the thoughts began;
“These aren’t that good.”
“No one will like these.”
“Why can’t you be more creative?”
It hit me like a punch to the gut- I didn’t even realize what thoughts had been floating around in the back of my mind until I had these photos out of my brain and onto my camera roll.
So while I originally thought this shoot would be about “overcoming” anxiety, it was in creating these images that I came to understand the truth: Just like a bath that we hop into again and again, we can’t just get rid of anxiety in one “wash” and expect it to be gone forever.
Anxiety will come for us, again and again.
And every time, we have a choice to make– Will we allow those thoughts to overwhelm us? Or will we take steps to silencing them with words of truth, love, kindness, and grace, that we extend not only to other people, but to ourselves as well?
As an encourager, I am here to tell you that while yes, your anxiety is real, and it is difficult, and it SUCKS, that it’s also 100% okay to tell it to shut up. We are not the labels people put on us. We are not the labels our anxious thoughts try to tell us. Your anxiety is the biggest liar of them all; and it’s time to silence it and put it in its’ place with the most powerful weapon of all: LOVE.
We decided to shoot in my house to represent the place that we tend to let our anxious thoughts take over us the most. Whether it’s alone in your bedroom, on your couch waiting for someone to text you back, or in the shower bawling your eyes out.
PHONE: To represent a source that so often causes so much of our anxieties.
DUCT TAPE: To show how trapped we can become from our anxieties.
WATER: The water was to represent Jesus as our living water that never runs dry. The sponge represents the Word and God’s love, and the idea that sometimes what we need is to put our phones down and just spend time with Jesus. Let his words wash over us, and remind us of who we really are.
What I love about art though, is that we are able to interpret everything so differently based on our own life experiences. While I may have created these images with certain symbolism and ideas in mind, I encourage you to let these speak to you and for you to perceive them in whatever way makes sense to you.
Much love to you,