how to journal your way out of problems and into solutions
So, how do you dust off your thoughts and emotions to see them clearly?
You write out what you’re thinking and feeling
or talk it out
with someone you know you can trust
I’ve done both
Sometimes I need someone who will listen to my pain and my tears,
and in that talking, the answers become clear.
Sometimes I just need to write out what I’m feeling and
suddenly everything becomes clear.
So, I mentioned earlier that when we don’t want to look at our problems, the very ‘not looking’ makes them worse. Talking or writing out our problems always makes them better.
Always? How could a person use the word always and be certain they are being truthful?
I have worked with countless people, adult and teen alike, and I have never come across a person who doesn’t eventually find answers and peace of mind from this activity.
For some it takes a long time, and for others not very long.
It’s like cleaning up a mess. The first time you do it, it may take a long time.
But after that, if you organize it and keep it clean every day, it takes very little time.
Some people have to talk and write for a long time before they get their ‘mess clean’.
The first time I sat down to write out what I was feeling,
it took three months before I could say I had expressed everything inside
that was really bothering and upsetting me
After that, a daily note, paragraph, or page each day was enough to keep me connected to my thoughts, feelings, and life
What I learned from this writing is that I hold inside me all the answers I need.
All the answers!
And that is what Sean and his friends learn in, Quest of a Teenage Mystic.
If they look closely at their situation, and learn to ask the right questions, they will always find the next step to take.
They won’t find the whole journey they have to take,
but they will find the next step or two.
And if you have that information, all the time, in a way, you do know the whole journey. You know it one step at a time!
To live like this, you have to believe there is some purpose or map somewhere that lays out your journey. Do you know how to trust that there is a map somewhere?
You just have to bravely start your journey of self-discovery.
After you’ve walked a fair distance, you will be able to look back and see purpose in everything that happened to you.
So, what do you do if you’re just at the beginning of your journey.
That’s not so easy to do at first, but it won’t take long before you are able to look at
something that happened to you, and see synchronicity at work.
dictionary meaning – coincidence of events that seem related
dictionary meaning – a chance happening – a happening without being planned
So what am I saying?
I’m saying that there is some kind of huge universal plan that is unfolding and if you could get high enough to look down on your life, you would be able to see it.
So until you have been on your journey long enough to have something to look back on, you just have to trust that there is some kind of invisible plan that is unfolding in your life.
Ever been in a large subway station in a big city?
From where you are standing,
struggling through the crowd to get to your train,
there seems to be nothing but chaos and confusion.
However, if you could rise high enough above the throngs of people
with your camera
and look at the video afterward in slow motion,
you would see that every person
is moving in a particular direction for a particular train.
Instead of chaos, you would see perfect order.
Salmon always swim upstream to spawn,
the sun always rises in the east and sets in the west,
the earth revolves on its axis and moves around the sun
consistently giving us a sense of day and night and seasons
The geese fly south in the winter and north in the summer.
I could go on and on.
The point is, that our universe is one of order and our lives also evolve from perfect order, consistency, and solidity.
I wouldn’t be surprised if you disagreed with me at this point.
All I’m asking is that you open yourself to this and try.
I’ve lived my life this way for so long that I have no doubt as to the truth of it.
So, at this point, what do you do?
You just have to decide if you are willing and courageous enough to try this path.
It’s an easier path to try if there are two of you, but it must be someone you know in the deepest part of you that you can trust.
If you are introverted and want to do this alone, that will work too. There are no rules here – it’s your path.
If you’re doing this by writing,
you have to be sure that no one is going to read what you’ve written,
or you won’t be completely honest with yourself.
It doesn’t work if you’re not completely honest with yourself!
My fingers have rested on the keyboard as I thought to myself,
I can’t write this – it would hurt someone so much if they read it.
That was when I promised myself I would burn it
as soon as I was finished writing and exploring that particular issue.
And I did burn it.
It doesn’t work if you’re not completely honest with yourself!
One of humanity’s greatest skills is to deny what we see and experience.
Why would that be?
I think perhaps it has something to do with survival.
So many things around us are a threat that we wouldn’t even begin to start our day if you we weren’t able to hide our eyes to some things.
At times, this denial is healthy and acceptable. You can’t possibly deal with all the pain and suffering in this world, but you must deal honestly with your own.
Denial of your own situations and problems is not healthy and does not lead to healing and growth.
In my work with people, I have consistently found that most people are able to tell me what they don’t want, but rarely do they have a clear picture of what they do want.
The best place to start is at what you don’t want, and the best place to end up is at what you do want. One leads to the other.
You need to clean out an old space before you can create a new one.
Create your own path:
Talk or Write your Journey to Freedom and Purpose
And so you begin.
You must have pen and paper
or a friend with you,
or perhaps a computer to write with
or computer video to talk to
or phone to record into
If you don’t do it this way, it may be just a waste of time – like going through the motions of playing hockey with no stick or puck
Maybe that’s a bad analogy but I hope you know what I mean.
Doing this is not just an empty exercise – it must be your personal quest for meaning and purpose.
Your first step.
Write, talk, or draw what you don’t like in your life.
If you’re more of an artist than a writer, you could draw these things – either realistically or symbolically.
If you want, you could write a story describing this life you don’t want.
Or, if you are a list person, you could just begin writing out a long list ( or maybe it will turn out to be a rather short list 🙂 lucky you!).
You could put a circle in the middle of the page and draw lines to circles that surround it indicating important areas of your life.
Below is a list of some of the areas you might want to explore. This is not a complete list, as only you know the areas of your life you need to look at.
As you explore these, remember you are looking only at you NOW.
Past may play into now and so could briefly be touched upon, but your focus should always be your immediate present moment.
It should be based on your immediate thoughts and emotions.
Above all be gentle with yourself as you do this.
Always hold yourself in an accepting circle of love as you write,
or you won’t feel safe enough to express your deepest thoughts and emotions.
Last thing to mention.
If your problems seem to be too big for you to look at alone,
find an adult you trust, teacher, psychologist, relative etc.
Sometimes we need someone with experience to hold our hand for a while. It’s all part of the process of self-discovery.
Sometimes we walk alone, sometimes with a friend, and sometimes with a professional who can help get us started and/or guide us down the path a little way.