Saturday, February 18, 2006


Not all of my journaling experiences have been positive ones. My journals have been turned against me now and then. But I return to them time and time again because their power to heal is undeniable.

I have journaled, off and on, throughout my life. I journaled as a preteen and teen, again in my thirties and into my forties. Some have been diaries, some all about poetry and feelings, dealing with subjects from love to sexual abuse to self-destruction to death to divorce to illness to joy to..... well, just about everything.

I kept a gratitude/prayer/dream journal for years. That last one helped me through my divorce and beyond. When life seemed bleakest having to stick to a gratitude journal every night to remind myself of the good things in my life made a positive difference and kept me putting one foot in front of the other. (Some nights I could barely write "thank goodness this awful day is over' but at least it forced me to look at the bright side and doing so wasn't about denial but helped me face each day.) And those dreams I kept at the back of each of those journals - many dreams that were far-fetched - all were realized and crossed off over the years.

I've kept travel journals at the suggestion of my best friend, starting a couple of trips ago. I thought I'd never have time for such a thing and it wasn't needed. How grateful I am now that she gave it to me and that I used it. Over time, the little details are lost from memory and even pictures don't capture the entire experience. Those travel journals, journaling my last times with my love AND journaling a healing trip of memorializing with my best friend, bring me great joy today.

In between those last couple of trips, I kept a grief journal. It, too, was necessary and almost every entry was writing to my love, expressing my grief directly to him, my loss, my feelings, my anger, my desolation. A few months ago I had to put it away. I realized it was keeping me in the grief and it had stopped being a healing tool and had begun trapping me.

And then came this blog a few months later. And I realized tonight, in talking with a friend, just what a great healing tool this blog has been and it has something private journals do not that is very important to that healing, at least for me.

Because there is a potential audience, I don't allow myself to emotionally get bogged down. It helps to force me to continue to put one foot in front of the other. When I share a list of things I want to accomplish this year, for example, it's out there and I'm accountable. So if I'm tempted to let those dreams and goals go, I feel less inclined to do so. I'm more likely to look for and find the humor in a situation because I know that's more entertaining. I'm more likely to find the positive spin at least some of the time.

Blogging encourages me to be a cup half full kinda woman more often than otherwise, not just for the purpose of the blog but authentically within myself.

And on a weekend when I've been reeling from some physical and emotional crud of the last few days/weeks, it is thinking about this idea that has brought me back to myself and reminded me that I'll be okay.

That can only be good. :-)


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