The concept of journaling simply became a step on a path I had entered long ago. Along the way, I learned that my desire to help others ‘see’ that they were not alone and that there was light at the end of the tunnel was a result of my own need for that same understanding. Of course, on the surface I knew this, but journaling became the vehicle for my space travel through the heart, beyond the mind, and about the spirit. I wrote to understand, I wrote to remember, I wrote to process and eventually I wrote because I couldn’t not write.
I wrote what I heard and to describe what I saw. Years of trauma and ‘forgetting’ had found an outlet for release—the pen—and finally found an adult who truly cared—me.
Writing saved my life because it helped me release what seemed to have every intention of exploding out of me anyway. I had reached a place in my life where I had to go back before I could go forward. I was willing. And it was time.
When I had no one to talk to, felt no one would understand, and still didn’t dare tell things that should never be told, I wrote. I made this writing a priority and often wrote for hours, until the words simply stopped pouring out through my pen. It became a trusted vehicle for welcoming many voices of many ages, and each with a story and perspective to share. I used different colors, different writing instruments and different styles – whatever felt right, whatever was the best expression of that energy that needed to surface. Quickly I learned that the best way was to write what came – no editing! My healing became a priority and journaling was the light that helped me see.
Whether you write to gain understanding, to make a decision, or simply as a release, here are some tools that will help.
Keep it together. I used spiral bound notebooks. I didn’t want to struggle with loose pages or, even worse, lose pages to an insensitive reader.
Note the date and time that you start writing. I began each writing session with the date, the time, and the day. At first, it was simply a way to start but it has since helped me refer back, identify patterns, provide validation, and gauge my progress.
Make it safe. Lock it up or keep your journal in a place not likely to be discovered. Tape a note to the cover saying, “Please respect my privacy and go no further.” Most important, really get it that these are your thoughts and your method of processing. It truly is no one else’s business. Besides, you know your intention and you deserve to heal. Make that more important than the fear of discovery.
Have a supply of writing instruments on hand: pens that work for your writing style, a variety of colors, pencils, crayons. When an impulse comes to change colors, do so. You may be surprised at the direction your writing takes.
Go where the spirit moves you! Ignore the lines. Write in circles. Write huge when your feelings feel huge or write small when your words seem insignificant.
Give yourself permission to write whatever you want, in any language, and regardless of grammar and spelling conventions.
Give yourself permission to write what you feel without judgment. Let your writing guide you through identification, release, and understanding.
Keep writing through the pain, the rage, the tears and I guarantee you will find love on the other side.
I wrote out the horror and the terror of unimaginable acts and always – always – found a loving place beyond. That loving place exists within each and every one of us. My wish is that you will find yours.
Interested in having your handwriting analyzed? Check out my Write On! pages for more info and contact me to discuss the possibilities!
I started journaling in 1990. It started as a suggestion for keeping track of feelings as I explored my personal history. In fact, as soon as I opened that first journal with pen in hand, the ink flowed and the words came faster than I imagined possible.
But I started writing before that. I wanted to write a book that would help children in abusive environments believe that they were not alone, there was help, and that someday the abuse would stop. I wrote this story because I had something to say, a perspective to share. The words flowed easily.
Prior to this, I wrote a lot. No great novels or editorial pieces but, as a handwriting analyst, I wrote reports and articles that encouraged understanding of a writer’s behavior and potential. I wanted them to know that they already have what they need, but some skills may need a little nurturing and guidance.