I am a writer, so journaling has always come naturally for me. I have journaled since the 7th grade. I remember that being a particularly difficult year for me. It was difficult academically, it was a difficult “friend drama” year, it was difficult in sports…that year was basically one of the major turning points in my life and in my struggles, I discovered my love of journaling. My journal was my “best friend.” It was the one place I could go where I could share my thoughts and not be judged, and in many ways it still is. I have journaled through some super-difficult times in my life. It’s what kept me sane. It’s where I found my peace. It’s where I could speak my heart, even when I was angry or hurt, and not hurt others with my words. It has and always will be my safe place.
One thing I always hear from people when I discuss the topic of journaling is that many people don’t feel like they write adequately enough to journal. They didn’t like writing papers in school, so they don’t think they would enjoy journaling. Here’s the kicker; your journal isn’t for anyone else but you. So if you spell something wrong or forget a comma no one will care! It’s not the SATs, it’s just a journal. No one is grading you and the best thing is no one is judging you.
Another thing I love about journaling is that you aren’t restricted in how you can express yourself. If you are more musically inclined or you can relate better to songs than traditional “Dear Journal” type writing, simply write song lyrics. Maybe you aren’t so savvy with words but you’re an amazing artist; express yourself in drawings. Journaling has taken on a life of its own. If you go to a bookstore, you can find a whole section of different kinds of journals. Some are doodle journals, some have Bible quotes, some have “story starter” type writing prompts to get your creative juices flowing. There are kid’s journals, teen journals, mom journals, religious journals, journals just for men…seriously, if you can think it up there’s a journal for it. There are even business journals! The company I work for has us journal every morning using a specific format that helps us get our day organized both personally and professionally. It helps us to be more efficient and productive with our work day.
Here’s something really cool that I have done in the past with my journal entries. I have found this little “ceremony” to be one of the most freeing things I have ever done for myself. I’ll give you an example. When my brother Matt passed away, that was an incredibly, horribly, terribly painful time for me. I filled three journals in the year following his death, and those particular journals centered solely on my feelings about my brother and his passing. There wasn’t even any regular life stuff in there! When I had gotten to the point where I felt I was ready to let go of all of the pain and sorrow that I had written so eloquently about for the past year, I burned the journals. That’s right. I burned them. I built a fire and I tore the pages out and I cried a big ugly cry and I burned every word…and I let go. I have done this same thing numerous times since as well. Sometimes if I’m just in a difficult situation I will grab a piece of paper and write out my thoughts, fold it up and burn it. For me, the symbolism of burning the negativity and sadness brings about a sense of freedom and release that then allows me to move past what is blocking my joy. Everybody has their thing…this is mine.
I am hoping that this post has inspired at least a few of you to pick up a pen and paper and start journaling. Right now I have 5 different journals going…I like to keep separate ones for different areas of my life. It helps me track my progress…or in some cases regression. Ah, gotta love it.
So in the spirit of this whole journaling thing, I am going to do something fun to get the ball rolling. I am giving away a journal and pen set to one lucky winner on Friday, November 4th. To enter, simply leave a comment below right here on my post. That’s it. A name will be randomly drawn from the list of comments. I would appreciate it if you could share this post on social media and, if you are interested, please check out my Facebook page: Teresa Warner.
Let’s have some fun with this! I can’t wait to read your comments and, on November 4th, choose the Journal Giveaway winner! Hope you have a safe and happy weekend and get journaling!
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