Journal Writing Hastens Inner Healing

 Elizabeth Barrett, today's guest columnist, has been a  journal writer for 31 years.  Beginning in her teens, she has also written poetry, essays and other short pieces.  She is nearing completion of a fairy tale.  She is about to begin the fourth rewrite on her first novel.  Nevertheless, it is journal writing that sustains her.

Journal Writing: My Lifeline to Soul
Sometimes I surprise myself by what I unearth through journal writing.  Is it even true?  I wonder at times.  Does it even matter?  Will I find yet a different truth the next time I write about the same thing?

 My journal writing began when our daughter Katie was born nearly thirty-one years ago.  I started a journal to record my thoughts and feelings, her steps and progress, and whatever else came to mind as she grew and changed daily.  When she was about thirteen, I went through a major life change and challenge:  breast cancer.  My journal writing took a new direction becoming my lifeline to my outer life through my inner journey.  No longer the focus of my journal, Katie's story merged and blended with my own.

I continue to journal for myself with no intention of ever publishing any of it as a memoir.  Most mornings with pen in hand, I write in my journal before I even get out of bed. At times my journal writing is little more than a recitation of the outer layers and events of my life.  More often than not, my inner life intrudes and percolates to the surface, creating deeper thoughts and sharing. 

Journal writing is the 'compost pile and fertilizer' for my inner life. Even as I write other things, I suspect I will always journal.  On some level, it is my best friend, my confidante, my therapist, which has pulled me through countless difficult and challenging times.  It is my soul connection, too, as I sort out my beliefs, my values, my truth, my connection to Spirit.

Lately, I've begun to ask myself if I want my journals to survive me, and, if so, why?  Do I really want my daughter, or anyone else, to know that much about me?  Does she or anyone else really want to know?  I suspect that most of us who journal reach that crossroads sooner or later.  I am still puzzling over the answer.  Meanwhile, I journal on.
We'd love to hear about your Journaling Journeys.  Submit your article (300 or so words) to Mari


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