When my friend came to me with questions about journalling, I was thrilled to have a chance to talk about something I am so passionate about. For me, writing in my journal is the beginning and the end. I started keeping a journal in 1988 at the age of 10 and continued writing through high school and much of university. I didn’t feel my day was complete or that I was grounded until I pulled out my journal and a medium point pen. I carried my journal with me so that between university classes when I had 2 or 4 hours to kill, I’d have a chance to connect with my thoughts.
High school was a trying period for me. A lot of people go through some kind of angst during these hormonal, often lonely years; I definitely would not go back for anything. But what kept me from feeling completely alone was my writing, because every time I opened up my journal I was saying hello to a non-judgemental, loving friend – someone who accepted me for who I was.
Just as in university when I felt pulled to sit down and make a list, in high school I had the same urge to sit down (literally, in the hallway) and write myself a letter. I pictured myself as a 5 year old child and wrote loving, comforting, gentle words – kind of a verbal hug – to this sad, lonely little girl. I praised myself for things of which I felt I was deserving, I told myself it was OK to feel the way I did and I reminded myself that I would one day have more control in my life to be who I am inside. After writing that letter, I felt a peace blanket me and it helped me carry on with my day. Actually, remembering that moment makes me extremely thankful that I had somehow innately known of this tool and that is why I am so passionate about spreading the word, so to speak, about the therapeutic effects of writing. Now I can see clearly why, when I unconsciously turned my back on writing, I really felt the loss.
If you journal, what does this type of connective writing mean to you? Who are you talking to when you write this way? Have you ever written a letter to yourself as a child? If not, would you consider it?
If you haven’t started journalling yet, what reservations do you have about it, if any?
I’m happy to hear your comments here or via the contact page. I’m just as happy if this prompts you to start thinking about connecting with your Self through the written word!