Day 5: Your Journal Loves You (When No One Else Does)

Leaf, not feather

Day 5: We’ve completed the first five days. I don’t post on Saturday, although it will count as Day 6. Next week, I’ll check in on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Tuesday and Thursday I’ll blog on other topics–one of those times more detail about choosing a word for 2012.

I’ll also leave a journal prompt each day directly at the top of the blog. You can continue to leave a comments, tips, and experiences. I’ll still highlight wisdom.

Wisdom from the Comments:
Arlene was brave enough to admit, “What I discovered about myself is if I don’t do something right away, I can procrastinate really well the rest of the day. . . . In the past I have simply “not thought about it”, thinking that by just ignoring it the feelings would go away. That obviously has not worked. This time it will be different.

Marjorie touched a deep spot when she sat down to write: “I didn’t sleep much last night. I’ve experienced this before when I’ve begun something that is likely to make deep (and often difficult) changes. I wasn’t stressed, just fully awake and relaxed and a tiny bit scared.”

That’s why you are writing with community, Marjorie. You weren’t alone last night. We are all a little bit scared of our creativity, of change.

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Alone with your journal, you can tell your story. The glory of writing yourself whole (thanks, Kelly Davies, for that brilliant concept), is that your journal never ignores you, demeans you, or tries to fix you. It lets you be whoever you need to be. But here’s the odd part: we often don’t let ourselves be the one we need to be to dig into the creativity warming our souls.

We lie to ourselves. Yes, we do. A more polite name for it is rationalization. We make ourselves seem blameless, helpful, victimized. Because we don’t want to be abandoned, hurt, blamed. But your journal doesn’t blame or abandon. Your journal is ready for you, whoever you are. There’s a reason we write, “Dear Diary.” We ache to have a conversation with someone who will love us, no matter what we’ve done. And it’s your journal.

If you are a Seeker, your journal may even stand in as the divine. Then what you are experiencing in journaling is prayer. That switch is what makes journaling different from morning pages for me. If I’m in prayer when I’m writing, I’m talking to a source that loves me, that makes me worthy of love, of help, of creating. Again, I’m very leery of religion, and what I’m doing is not a religious act, it is an act of trust. A trust that I can access my creativity and trust it.

If religion makes you nervous, try writing this sentence in your journal: “I am ready to move ahead, and I am worthy of help and love.” If the word “worthy” made you queasy, you can go ahead and smile. There’s still work ahead, but your journal will always love you, and you will always be worthy there.

Quinn McDonald is a creativity coach who is exploring creativity with a group of journalers.