Though I'd trade in a heartbeat the loss I've known, I wouldn't trade the suffering itself. Healing is a gift in its own right, and suffering brings us to new places we’d otherwise never set foot in. Journaling is one of the processes that has kept me going, learning, loving, and living.
“Those who are certain of the outcome can afford to wait, and wait without anxiety.” — A Course in Miracles
Writing in a journal has been a real tonic during the healing process.
I kept a journal when I was younger, but only in recent years picked it back up to find clarity in nearly all realms of life: healing, relationships, spirituality, creativity, career. The process of pen + paper has a totally different feel and quality to it than does punching keys and staring at a screen.
Even though a journal seems reminiscent of childhood, and meant to stay there, the habit can be enlightening for adults trying to navigate the world with more ease and joy.
What if all the answers you’re looking for start with a blank page?
For the healing heart, a journal is a window into what’s true and possible, an illumined path back to deep love, a clearing away of the debris that'd keep you stuck in suffering.
How a Journal Enriches, Enlightens and Reinforces the Healing Journey
In general, journaling your way through the healing journey not only ushers the process along, but it makes sure you’re really taking that trip. It’s easy not to show up for what hurts and to instead bypass the opportunities for real growth and transformation. It’s hard to do that if you’re sincerely taking the time to sit with yourself and with what’s showing up, and let it all bleed onto pages.
I’m absolutely certain of the service a simple journaling routine can provide us with, regardless of what we’re healing from—losing loved ones, battling anxiety, surviving depression, facing failure, health scares, living with the questions that have no solid answers.
The healing path is rich with serendipity, like treasures tucked away in ordinary-looking rocks. Journaling helps us uncover the hidden gems of being alive.
I’m feeling all sorts of spiritual wonder lately when I step away from my computer screen and pick up my journal instead. That’s what led me to the following listing of benefits that a simple ritual like journaling can offer to those who want to heal.
These are the gifts I’ve given myself so far, just because I decided to take the cap off my pen, and thus the thorns out of my heart:
- Conscious transformation: you can see how you’re growing while you’re growing and be more aware and involved in your own growth.
- Clarity of mind: you can sort through the voices in your head, not identify with them, discard limiting or destructive beliefs, and choose the ones that are most productive and helpful.
- Presence of whole self: writing puts you fully in the moment, which is a fruitful practice that seeps into the rest of your life.
- The growth of courage: you’re showing up for what hurts and practicing working with it and moving beyond it.
- Getting comfortable living with the questions before the answers come; waiting without anxiety; embracing the mystery.
- Getting to the root of your wounds so you can actually heal yourself.
- Clarity of purpose: understanding your “why” so you can create the life you most resonate with.
- The release of attachments and addictions: seeing it on paper allows you to let go because you see how much it’s not serving your expansion.
- Authenticity: getting to know your real self, what you care about, what matters and what doesn’t.
- Authentic self-love: deepening your relationship with yourself in a healthy way.
- Deeper relationships with others in response to your honest relationship with yourself.
- Honoring what you’re really feeling so you can heal it and create a life based on how you want to feel.
- Understanding what you’re grateful for, afraid of, tired of, excited for, offended by, and inspired by.
- Empowerment to rewrite patterns.
- Space for all your interests, desires, and dreams to be nourished.
- Space to integrate everything you’ve learned (from podcasts, lectures, blogs, books, other people, life assignments).
- Appreciation for how far you’ve come.
- Spiritual wonder.
- The ability to plant yourself in each step and respect the processes rather than always striving for an outcome.
- True worth: instead of working so hard on making your body look beautiful, you find your worth beyond your looks and focus on making your LIFE feel beautiful.
- Intuitive intelligence: learning to trust your intuition and your own decisions more.
- Relief because you can let it all out safely.
- Getting to be your own guru and putting in the GPS where you want to go.
- Self-compassion: being the supportive person you need in a tough situation.
A blank page might be uncomfortable at first, but it's an invitation to what's possible.
. . .
What gifts has keeping a journal given you?
Tell me in the comments. I read every single one, and I’d love to know!
P.S. Support yourself when you really need it. Get my book Sleep Rituals for 100 at-home practices (including comforting writing exercises) that'll help you release stress and take deep breaths. Yes, and sleep. You deserve that kind of peace.