Thursday, October 18, 2012

Journaling

Do you journal? I have, off and on, over the years. I used to more, until one time I went back and READ what I wrote...bad idea. I thought..."Ugh, what whiney, immature things to say!" The words I had penned seemed ridiculous, and it was embarrassing. So I stopped.  But I have come to think it really is valuable, and I just needed to learn a lesson...don't go back and re-read!!  (And, most importantly, put it in my will to have any and all remaining journals BURNED upon my death...NOT to be read by friends and family!!  Yikes!)

I must say, I really do think there is value in journaling.  It can help to get those ridiculous, whiney thoughts out of your guts, without spewing them on another person.  Let's face it...we all have feelings, and feelings are what they are.  They aren't necessarily 'right' or 'wrong'...they're just things we feel.   However, feelings can be untrue, and sometimes we need to recognize that to deal rightly with them.  Just because I feel like everyone hates me, for example, (and no worries, I don't actually feel that, I'm just using it as an obvious example!) doesn't make it factual.  In these times, it can truly help to write everything out...and take a look at it in black and white.  It can help us process what we are feeling.  (Maybe this is why some people feel the need to post every thought and feeling in social media outlets...which, let me say loud and clear...I DO NOT advocate, DO NOT think is healthy and DO NOT think is helpful!!)  But a little notebook, or even piece of paper...now that can be a useful tool.  And if you're really needing an outlet to spill your guts, but it's the sort of things you really don't want anyone to ever find, here's a suggestion. 

Write it all down...release every whiney, nasty, angry or fearful thought that you're struggling with.  Don't hold back, don't polish it...just go ahead and write out what is rattling around in your head.

Next, pray.  God knows what we are feeling and thinking anyway, so there's no use trying to play games with him...if you feel like you're hating a certain person, and you're thinking you're hating them...God's not fooled by our plastic smile and our "Bless their darlin', pea-pickin' little heart..." uttered through clenched teeth.  So, go ahead...get really real.  Ask him to just bring it all to the surface for you to spew on that paper... and then ask Him to take it all.  Ask him to help you to see reality, if need be.  Ask him to show you where you might be mis-perceiving things. 

And then rip up the paper.  Seriously...it can be a freeing thing!  Once you've had the opportunity to 'say' all that's bubbling inside you...and then had to actually face, in black and white, the reality of what it all is...it can be like turning on the light in the middle of a nightmare.  Suddenly, things seem not quite so bad.  Feelings can still linger...but you can get a better grip on them, and force your mind toward reality and choices that you can make on how to deal with your feelings.  And tearing up the paper can, not only ensure that no one else will read your deepest thoughts, it can also give some 'finished-ness' to the process.  Sometimes you'll find that venting like this actually is all the release you need, and you'll finally be able to put some of it aside and move on!

On a more positive side of journaling, if you'd like a practical way to look toward God to pour IN to your heart and mind, I would really recommend this little book for your Kindle or Kindle app... (Do you know that even if you don't have a regular Kindle, you can download an app for your computer or phone for FREE??  Yep, I've had mine for months now, and love having the option to get e-books without having to purchase an expensive reader!)  This book is one I've just started, and I love that it gives me a short thing to focus on daily, and some tracks to run on as far as a writing prompt to help me direct my thoughts for the day in a positive direction.  Each day gives a Scripture, a Thought for Meditation, and a Writing Prompt.  It's only $2.99 through Amazon (you can click the picture below and I have it linked right to the Amazon page), and it's been a wonderful tool that I've used to just spend a few minutes with God and let Him set my focus for the day.  You should check it out!
 Happy journaling!!  :)
 

1 comment:

John said...

This is really worth reading, it has too much details in it and yet it is so simple to understand

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