Take Up Journaling
Another one of my favorite types of writing is journaling. It is hard for me to find the words to express the power that journaling can have in our lives…but not your every day journaling. Let me explain…
My perspective about journaling changed when, by the side of a Las Vegas pool in the heat of the summer, I read Leaving a Trace: On Keeping a Journal by Alexandra Johnson. I learned that there are many reasons we should write down our thoughts…(this is excerpted from my book, Infertility: Help, Hope, and Healing)
- You can see the growth and the progress you have made.
- You can document where you have been and who you have become. Trust me, you will want to look back and remember. When you want to remember, your mind will fail you, but the words you shared in ink will bring it to your remembrance.
- Writing your feelings can be therapeutic. The process of thinking and then writing (or even just writing without thinking) helps you work through emotions and see what you truly feel. According to Alexandra Johnson in Leaving a Trace, “journals are about sharpening consciousness” (33).
- Journaling helps you focus a multitude of thoughts, wishes, and sorrows by bringing them in like a net that brings in hundreds of fish. It is “a rare activity centered in the present, contemplating the past, yet aimed for a future self. . . . Journal writing is, foremost, a way to order and reframe perspective” (Leaving a Trace, 31, 33).
- In a journal you can express the truest feelings within your heart, the ones you are too afraid to share with others. “Journals [are] the private place where the public mask [can] drop” (Leaving a Trace, 32–33).
- You will not be judged by what you write in your journal.
- It will be easier to identify ways the Lord is blessing you. President Eyring suggested sitting down each day and thinking of all the ways the Lord has blessed you. He said “Before I would write, I would ponder this question: ‘Have I seen the hand of God reaching out to touch us or our children or our family today?’ As I kept at it, something began to happen. As I would cast my mind over the day, I would see evidence of what God had done for one of us that I had not recognized in the busy moments of the day. As that happened, and it happened often, I realized that trying to remember had allowed God to show me what He had done” (“O Remember, Remember,” Ensign, November 2007, 67).
Just today, I also read a great blog about journal writing, including some very easy ways to spice things up and make journaling fun. Check it out here.
Now, I am far from perfect in my journal writing, but I have found writing in my journal to be a great therapy, perhaps you will too.