I have encountered several people who confided in me that they “wish they kept a journal”, but say they don’t or have struggled to because they don’t want to “mess it up”—they don’t want to express dark or less than perfect emotions, so instead they choose to leave it blank and push it away. I can relate 110%.
We deny ourselves even to ourselves. Rather than allowing ourselves to feel our own true nature, we bury it inside.
And honestly, that’s what we’ve been taught to do, to build up a pleasing persona and pretend the rest of the human experience is for the weak.
That’s called suppression, and that doesn’t help anybody.
It took some time, but if there is one trait which has arisen from my journals, it is authenticity. I have stopped hiding from myself; I no longer choose to deny my feelings or shove down the cries of my soul. I am growing to recognize that the only way out of my troubles is through them, not around them.
And I am so grateful for this; I too used to start and abandon each shiny new notepad after the first not-so-shiny entry. Now, give me a pen and an hour of honest breakdown, and I will reach resolution.
I will discover that even the most outward of my troubles is but an inward reflection. My anger will transform to gentle sadness, longing—a disconnection from myself, that needs only to be rekindled. Perspectives of lack will cave, and show their true face—a need to rise into responsibility for my own life.
Journaling is only one way of expressing ourselves, of allowing every shade of our being to pour through.
Discovering this means of “soul-letting” (you know—like bloodletting for your soul), whatever that means for you, is essential for each of us, or we suffer unnecessarily.
We have so many thoughts and feelings and experiences buzzing around inside, and means of expressing these—whether through journaling, dancing, painting, music…whatever floats your boat, allows us to move that energy.
Whether it be bursting excitement, or the opposite pole...how can we grow in self-love and authenticity if we are not willing to be honest with ourselves, and acknowledge our own true natures?
The human experience is a myriad of emotions, experiences and realizations. We crumble and we triumph. Everyone of us does, yet it’s almost a taboo to allow it to come forth, instead we are feel ashamed, and hide from ourselves.
Find your outlet; if it’s writing, pick up a pen and be angry! Be blissful! Feel worthless! Touch despair! Let it flow, even if it doesn’t feel fluid right away—start anywhere.
My earliest journals are monotonous recalls of the events of the day; they were all head and no heart; making the shift is an unfolding process. We have to get to know ourselves in this new expression, just like getting to know anybody else; we tend to censor ourselves—but we only have to consciously decide to become uncensored to begin to tear down the wall that stands between our truth and the built up persona which we have established.
I would encourage you to write, paint, dance through the rigid beginnings, to continue practicing letting go of your resistance, and allowing your soul to pour. To trust the process:
seed never sees flower.
We are all of it, we are joy and anger, grief and ecstasy. We all experience it all.
Whatever you are, allow yourself to be it, allow yourself a means of shifting it, of expressing it for all it is. There is a message for us in every emotion, if we seek it.
Out of that cultivated authenticity, out of that lack of denial and the acceptance of ourselves as we are, we can experience relief and resolution: the flip-side, the beauty—the light.