Sabotage, poor relationships, codependent, trauma history, boundaries, anxiety, depression, always looking outside of yourself for validation, throwing yourself into chaos to recreate a sense of normality as that was all that you knew as a child. Chaos could look like causing arguments for no reason, getting into relationships that you know are bad for you, grabbing for a crutch at any given time, whether it be food, alcohol, drugs or relationships because it provides you with momentary pleasure, or a sense of control, or peace. Does any of this sound familiar?
In my late teens early twenties, all of that was me and my vices, were food and men. Food provided me with comfort; relationships were something that I clung to for dear life out of fear of being left alone too long to have to listen to the mindless chatter that reverberated around the cavities of my head. If I didn’t numb out, I would fall apart because there was no way that I could deal with all of this mess by myself.
I knew I needed help, but first, I had to settle this idea that I adopted, that therapy was for the weak or severely disturbed. One day, I plucked up the courage, and without telling anyone, I booked myself into my first counselling session. The lady counsellor was absolutely fabulous and really helped me, but my sessions with her were limited as it was provided for free from the university.
As I got older, I therapist hopped my way around from psychiatrists, psychologists, counsellors, alternative therapists, boyfriends, friends in the hope of finding a savour, but guess what, there was none!
I would go to therapy and come home and feel like while the effects of the sessions were noticeable and definitely made me more aware of my behaviour patterns, it left me wanting a way to work my way through life without needing to resort to someone else, as that would be too exhausting having to regurgitate my story all the time, not to mention costly.
I was sitting at home one day, wallowing in self-pity when suddenly, I felt a compulsion to have a constructive conversation with myself and get everything out in the open, so I started to journal, every day. At first, it was short bursts, just writing down some thoughts that I was having, which took a few minutes, and then after a while, the conversation began to flow, and it no longer felt like a chore because it became effortless.
"I realised that if I ever approached journaling like it was a chore, I knew there was a conversation that I was resisting. "
What did my journaling practice look like?
I would recount my dreams as soon as I woke up, noting down the time I woke up each day, (throughout the night).
I would write down my thoughts and feelings when I felt funky, or I felt them build in intensity.
I created a shrine-like space with pictures of myself as a child and spoke to the little girl inside, reparenting her and showing her that she no longer needed to feel alone and neglected by me. I was going to pick her up and hold her and nurture her into adulthood.
At least once a day, I chose an activity that brought my inner child joy. It could be dancing, playing piano, guitar, singing, drawing, going for a swim, cooking, writing, having a bath, watching one of my favourite movies, etc.
How do you create a relationship of trust from a journaling practice?
After a few days, I began to notice that I was so much more than your body, actions, and behaviours, whether it be past or present, but there is a force that lives deep within you that knows, and you loves you regardless. I know this to be my soul.
"I feel like the heart is the gateway to the soul, the key to unlocking possibilities."
I have been doing the same devotional practice every day for the last two years and I absolutely love it! This process opens us up to be a clear vessel for messages to channel through us. When the channel is open, we play host to all manner of ideas, messages, and opportunities, and we, in turn, attract unbelievable possibilities in our external world.
What I learned about myself from a regular journaling practice…
I became aware of what I enjoyed as a small child and started to incorporate elements of my childhood into my life. More play, more music, more art…literally all the things that I loved!
I started to get really honest about what was important to me.
I realised from continuing this practice that I get to know myself better each and every day. I also know how to hold myself, and I don’t need others to do it for me.
I no longer have a negative attachment to the commitments I thought I ‘should’ have with myself. I often found these to be masquerading as the ‘self-love’ practices that we often read about.
I became my very own best friend and knew that I had the answers inherently within me. If I didn’t know what to do at a particular time, I trusted that I would know eventually.
Tips to get started
1. Put aside 5 minutes a day to write down your thoughts and feelings.
Writing before you get up in the morning, is a great way to start, or before you go to sleep. Schedule in some time each day.
2. Make a commitment.
If you don’t feel like doing it that day, or you miss it, make a commitment to get to it eventually. I always write notes in my phone and then write them in my journal later if I didn’t have time, or couldn’t be bothered in the morning. I always come back to it. Honouring our bodies responses like this, is where the connection between the heart and soul deepens, and removes any harbouring resentments toward the process. In saying that, you don’t need to keep a paper journal.
3. Keep your expectations realistic.
You don’t want to feel overwhelmed by the process.
4. If you can’t think of what to write, come back to gratitude.
This is especially helpful in removing the pressure we put on ourselves to write daily. Practicing gratitude is an excellent tool, and if you haven't already incorporated it into your daily practice, I would highly recommend it!
5. Play with the spaces that you write.
It could be a different environment that inspires more flow. Mix it up!
Want to go deeper with your journaling practice?
I have written a document of 5 journaling prompts that have been absolute game-changers for me in this process.
To download your FREE Journaling Prompts PDF, click below...
If you stumbled upon this blog, I hope it has provided you with insight into the possibilities that are but a page away, but also show you that while we can look outside of ourselves, and feel overwhelmed by our own story, if we come back to the truth of who we are, (which is what this process offers us) then we can find and embody the answer.
Sending love to all.