I journal. In fact, I’ve written in my journal/s almost every day since I was seventeen or so, and I found some of my closest blogger friends on OpenDiary.com, back when I wrote in a journal online. I find writing in a journal to be freeing as well as important. So, when author B. Lynn Goodwin asked to write an article about the effects of journaling, I jumped at the opportunity. How about you? Do you journal? What do you think about journaling? Let’s welcome B. Lynn Goodwin today.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in guest articles are those of the author/s and do not necessarily reflect my own. To show authenticity of the featured writer, articles are posted as provided (a.k.a. I do not edit them). However, the format may have changed.
Replenishing Your Reserves by Journaling by B. Lynn Goodwin
Has life evolved to a place where everybody else’s needs come first? Do resentments expand like a swollen spring river? It’s a familiar predicament, and you are not alone.
When I was my mother’s caregiver, I often needed to put my personal needs on hold. I drowned my resentments in comfort foods. Entenmann’s chocolate chip cookies were a favorite. I’d pull one after another out of the box and stuff them in my mouth mindlessly as I drove to the pharmacy or the post office or even the grocery store.
I got back in touch with my physical needs, as well as my mental, emotional, and spiritual ones, through my journal. In there, I could vent, delve into issues, and untangle messes. My journal allowed me to finish a thought without interruption. It encouraged me to analyze, celebrate, and find the hope that had become elusive. After I processed my own issues, I had the energy and good will to reach out again.
Often I would start with one of these three simple sentence starters:
- Today I feel…
- Today I believe…
- Today I want….
Any response was right, as long as it came from the heart.
Today I feel poverty stricken. I hate having no income. The money you give me doesn’t count. It feels like an unearned gift. I want to earn my own money, detached from you. I want to feel productive and independent. I don’t want to feel like a nine-year-old doing chores for an allowance.
Selfish? Maybe, but when do I get to do what I want to do? Don’t get me wrong. I love you. I know you need me, even when you toss your head and say, “I can do it myself.” But when do I get to leave the stale odors and draining drivel of this place and do what I want to do?
Today I feel sad. You didn’t want your breakfast. You didn’t want to talk. Neither do I. I want to stare at the dust motes floating in the sunshine that’s streaming through the screen door. So mindless. Like me. If I were a dust mote, I’d have no hands or feet or responsibilities.
Today I feel hopeful because Kristi is coming in while I go shopping and I’ll have an extra hour. I’ve been e-mailing this really nice sixty-year-old divorced man on Craigslist, and today we’re going to meet for coffee at Starbucks. I have a coffee date and I feel like a teenager sneaking away to meet some hottie.
How would you respond? Try it right now.
Journaling releases mental toxins and deepens awareness. It helps the strong, sane, safe, healthy, hopeful parts of you emerge. Do not underestimate its power.
I’d love to hear how you finished “Today I feel…”
Lynn Goodwin is the author of You Want Me to Do WHAT? Journaling for Caregivers and Talent, which is coming out this year. She’s the owner of Writer Advice, www.writeradvice.com
Want to be a guest blogger? Now is the time to submit. I will be stopping guest blog posts in November, but before then, I would love to have you on! I am accepting original posts that focus on reading and writing. Pictures, links, and a bio are encouraged. You do not have to be published. If you qualify, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.