To write is to release. To ME, that is! In 1989, I grabbed a pad of paper and a pen and I headed to Mother Nature. I was lost and my head was spinning with unpleasant thoughts. Contemplating my own demise, I felt crazed by my brother’s suicide.
Thankfully, extricating the words from my cells and presenting them to the physical world eased my fire and allowed me to simmer a bit. Instead of blasting full speed ahead, I was able to take a breath and see what was right in front of me. Sitting in a pile of leaves for over an hour, I became aware of the moisture under my bottom. As I furiously wrote, I felt the grain of the wood log that supported my spine. My eyes scanned the scene and I fully absorbed autumn in Illinois––the red, golden, and orange leaves. The cold wind slapped my face and shook me awake. All of this took place in an instant. Once I released my innards, I was able to experience life again.
For people who don’t use journaling as a release tool or a place of peace, this may seem impossible. How could writing what you feel bring you back to life? The answer is simple; once you feel and cellularly experience what you are hearing in your head, it is like letting the air out of a balloon. It falls back to Earth and feels the ground beneath it.
I have encountered many people who are resistant to journaling or even writing a letter to someone who is dead or alive. They state plenty of reasons as to why they can’t or won’t write. But, when I look into their eyes I see the emotion longing to be released in the tears that form in their visual center. Fear keeps it right there as the water is reabsorbed by the system or simply wiped away. The funny thing is, they are afraid of what they already know about themselves––that they feel loss.
When my brother Ronny died, the incredible loss that I felt consumed me. The “all-powerful” in me felt that “I” should have stopped him from taking his life. What I learned through journaling, and later, using my journals to write a book*, is that it wasn’t about him; IT WAS ALL ABOUT ME!
Journaling showed me that I feel deeply. I take things personally because everything in my life is PERSONAL; for I am the person taking it all in. Journaling provided a space to find more of me. It opened my heart, first to me, and then to the world. This was not an easy task. Initially, I grieved the words that I released to the masses through my book. But once I took some time for myself––taking countless breaths, walks, swims, etc., I was able to let things go. My words were not just meant for me, they are there for everyone. People may absorb them fully, partially or not at all. That is not the point. Words are meant to be spoken.
I never thought that I would share my journals. Prior to 1998, I didn’t even re-read my own words. However, as I did, I found more pieces of myself. I discovered that what I feared was not nearly as big as it appeared inside of me. The greatest gift came when I recognized that the record playing in my head could change its tune. That’s the most amazing thing that journaling hands to me on a silver platter each and every time I put pen to paper. I no longer have to hold all of my thoughts, words, and feelings internally. I have a way to set them free and let them fly.
Journaling is a GIFT––plain and simple. So, grab paper and a pen to see what comes out of you. You may be pleasantly surprised. One thing that I can guarantee––you won’t be carrying such heavy hearts. Be well… Nancy T
- For more details about Nancy’s experience, refer to her book One Of Eight–my perspective on our brother’s suicide. http://www.naturalmassagetherapy.com/books/
For further information or questions, please contact Nancy @ Bez Publications at 928-717-1251, firstname.lastname@example.org.