Feelings, feelings and more feelings!
I’m overwhelmed with them. All. The. Time.
Sadness. Longing. Regret. Hopelessness.
But also happiness, excitement and joy.
They bounce around in my head and heart doing battle like caged animals.
What to do? How do I keep my life in some sort of forward motion when if I give in to each and every feeling I’d be going in circles and heading nowhere?
One thing I can’t do is ignore them.
Stuffing pain down deep where I think it’ll never escape doesn’t work.
It just sneaks through whatever crack I haven’t managed to seal tight and shows up at the most inopportune moments. And the release is often explosive-hurting me and those around me.
Journaling is the best method I’ve found to let my feelings out in a more controlled fashion.
I can say whatever I want to on paper without worrying it will harm another’s heart. I can write things I would never be brave enough to speak aloud. I can mark my page with anything I want to-it’s for my eyes only.
I find that letting go of the feelings I’ve been holding in for so long often results in great freedom and release even when my circumstances haven’t changed at all.
This pouring thoughts out on paper has relieved me. I feel better and full of confidence and resolution.
~Diet Eman, Things We Couldn’t Say
And writing them down, I am often better able to discern the reason behind the feelings, better able to think of what I might do to help myself–even if no one else can help me. Seeing it in black and white I can find patterns and pinpoint unhealthy habits that are leading me down deadend alleys.
Successful journals break the deadlock of introspective obsession
~Alexandra Johnson, Leaving a Trace: On Keeping a Journal
I might start a journal entry with a thought bouncing around in my mind, or a quote or a Scripture verse. I may ask a question-of myself or of God-write a memory or whisper a fear.
However it begins the page soon fills with things I wasn’t even aware were inside me. And almost always ends in a better place than where it started.
Not one outward circumstance altered.
Not one problem “solved”.
Not a single aspect of life “fixed”.
Journal writing is a voyage to the interior. ~Christina Baldwin
But my ability to understand my own heart and to respond to the unchanging circumstances around me has been enlarged and strengthened.
My journal is the safest space to explore the nooks and crannies of how grief is changing me from the inside out.
Writing is the only way I have to explain my own life to myself.
~ Pat Conroy, My Reading Life