Journaling has been my inconsistent therapeutic remedy. Its evidence my first journal was truly a diary. At age nine my way of communicating was blathering about nothings in between short stories of play dates or family folly. Friends allowed to read my Diary represented a sort-of friendship hierarchy.
It was evident I was first emotionally inept from heavy hand, dark-leaded big words or a scribbled frenzy of characters and shapes. Some pages have a word written over and over until the page forced an end to that silliness. Over time a diary became a journal, stories took shape with meaning and depth.
The discovery of my emotional journey was in part to chronologically reading them as a script to my life. Sadness overtook me when an eighth of the pages were ripped out. Likely this was ex designated to be forgotten. The journal with clippings from magazines was the life chapter of financial hardship, dreams of luxuries. Half-hazard collages and drawings represented that season of re-defining who I am.
It was clear artistic expression to clearly identify thoughts too difficult for words.
After the first week of reading I declared on the phone to a friend that “I plan to bury all my journals in a vaulted box. When or if my family wants to know my past they can dig it up!”
The past is that…buried in the past. Continued journal reading brought internal questioning.
Why do I want these documented ghosts dwelling with me?
Over time the burial idea became powerless. Feelings settled. Reality shifted. My past has significantly shaped who I. It most certainly doesn’t define me, yet this is real. It was real. And some of it still lives through my present behaviors.
Past experiences my heart clings to are deeply engrained mental paths my behaviors follow when I encounter similar present experiences. The fiber of my being depends on creating new pathways to let the ghosts free.
In a moment of ambivalence I confirmed journaled experiences with past photos during these haunting feelings. They were still moments in the palm of my hand as reminders of that day.
The solution wasn’t to bury them. It was to set them free.
Now journaling as an intimate form of creativity. It allows me to express recognition that life is good, or life is hard. Life is worth the thoughts or scribbling or scotch taped tapped clippings. These acts will be continued over and over again.
Who knows? Well, determined courage to self-express is how knowledge spreads.
My journaling proved to heal shame trapped in my past. It’s a wellbeing tool that built my courage to openly share my ghostly shame with others. The wisdom of sharing is a gift that returns deep new paths for hope, renewal, and freedom to live.