If I didn’t have my journal, I’d be lost. It’s the ear that listens without judgment. A place for me to catalog all my thoughts and feelings. I can go back to previous entries and smile as I witness my growth.
I think everyone should keep a journal. It’s the best way to flush out the negativity you’re feeling. On tough days I write fiercely. I don’t hold back. I don’t filter anything. I just let my feelings flow and record them.
It’s not only therapeutic; it’s kind of a life saver too. I think of all the times I would have said things to someone in a fit of anger and regret it later. I’m not saying I’m passive. Actually I think I’m the opposite. But I do recognize that I easily get hot headed. So when I feel something bubbling up in a situation, whether it be at work or at home, I take notice of my feelings. Usually I can recognize immediately that I’m feeling triggered and about to overreact. So I take a mental note of it. Then draw up the feelings I had when I get a chance to write in my journal.
There are tons of entries I’ve written to people who’ve made me feel angry or wounded. You can tell when I’m yelling because my font gets bolder, and capitalized. It’s such a great release. To say everything I want to say, without holding back, without fear of hurting the other person.
Usually something really cool happens when I write angry letters to people in my journal. I notice by the end of the entry that I’m not really mad at them at all. I figure out that they only did something that drew up passed feelings from my childhood: insecurities, fears, anxieties. It’s the main reason why I can tell I’m feeling triggered in the moment. This is when a flood of relief washes over me. I’m so thankful I didn’t give in to the rage I felt in the moment and said things I would have really regretted. I’m thankful that my journal helps me find the source of my feelings. Where they stem from, where they started, why they keep reoccurring.
My journal allows me to feel what I need to feel without feeling embarrassed or ashamed. It allows me to spill the bitterness from my soul and not hold back. I don’t have to think about hurting my journal’s feelings.
Someone once asked me if they could read my journal. That’s like asking someone: “Hey, mind if I see you naked?” No way. Never. Just like a therapist is sworn to secrecy unless sequestered, my journal works the same way. If I’m every charged with murder or found lifeless somewhere and detectives go through my journals for clues, fine. But no one will read my journal for the simple pleasure of it.
If someone wants to get to know my personal thoughts, they’ll just have to risk asking the tough questions and hearing the honest answers.
Do you keep a journal? Do you find it therapeutic and a tool in emotional growth?