Last night while I was sorting thru boxes in the garage, I came across an old journal.
I recalled that it was the first year I had followed my intention to journal. Prior to that I would type random thoughts on my computer whenever I felt inclined, but never dared keep a physical journal for fear that somehow, someone would read my thoughts and perhaps judge me.
I brushed the back of my hand across the beautiful, ornate and colorful cover now, one that I had sewn together by hand on one of my creative days. I remember like it was yesterday. Sitting on the floor with all the colorful scraps I could gather spread out in front of me, with needles and beads, teary-eyed and emotional while listening to Sarah Brightman sing in the background.
The book cover was still in great condition, the hand stitching and beading still intact, the colors still bright and vivid.
I made myself comfortable as I sat on the tiled floor among the scattered boxes, and smiled sadly as I leafed through the pages. At the top of the page I had written the words: My Year of Healing and Letting Go. A wave of nostalgia came over me as I read the daily entries… a vestige of a very challenging time in my life.
I closed my eyes and was transported to that year 2013. A year of overwhelm while yearning for direction and strength, to continue living my life the best I could under the circumstances. A feeling of immense void had consumed me at every waking moment that something in my life, a part of me, was missing. I had lost everything and everyone that mattered. My life as I had known it would never be the same again.
Ever since, I have diligently penned my thoughts daily. I journal every morning and rarely miss a day. It has changed me and brought me clarity and shows me where I need to look more closely. It has taught me responsibility for everything that happens in my life and keeps me accountable. It provides companionship in times of loneliness, and clarity in times of chaos. It is in the pages of my journal that I discover myself. I see where I need encouragement and I choose to give it to myself. In these pages I learn where I need help, and am able to show up for myself. It offers me the comfort that only I can give me.
Oftentimes answers come up when I put my thoughts and pose my questions on paper. It is the one place where I can allow myself to let go, be honest with myself and be in a place of non-judgment. It is a place of release, where I can be brutally honest and completely transparent and careless. As I continue with this practice, I become aware of a shift occurring, of support I had never felt before and I feel empowered.
I find that journaling is therapeutic, and the best way to bridge the gap between who I really wish to be, and how I am showing up in my life. My journal is a document of truth and honesty; of pain and the realization that I can recover from every setback in my life by my own actions; of happiness and the realization that I, and only I, am the one that can create it for me.
My journal is akin to a guesthouse, as I invite all that wants to show up: ideas, thoughts, persons, places and things. I welcome each willingly and without inhibitions. And as I write with honesty and from the recesses of my heart, I cannot help but be healed.
This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.
Be grateful for whatever comes.
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.