Journaling – in one form or another – has been part of our history for eons.
The drawings in the caves of the ancients, the various scriptures, and historical documentations give us glimpses into our past and the diverse cultural practices of our ancestors.
In more recent times, many of us journaled to document our lives and express ourselves.
Today, we understand the value of journaling as a tool to help us and for self-understanding and self-healing.
At this point in Humanity’s evolution, we are called to embrace the Me-And-You notion.
To do so, we must embrace the concepts of love: become more loving, compassionate, fairer, generous, cooperative, and accepting of ALL others.
To embrace the Me-And-You notion and extend the qualities of love towards others, we must love and understand ourselves.
Self-understanding Leads to Self-healing
Because of Humanity’s past, we all come from a place of woundedness. And we have not learned to unconditionally love ourselves – and others.
Our woundedness causes us to be sensitive, easily get hurt feelings, and needy for love.
And it is our woundedness that causes us to act in ways that hurt or disappoint others.
We feel and react from our woundedness – rather than respond to what is currently happening. Inappropriate reactions cause us to further get hurt feelings, create more upsets in our lives and with others, become dysfunctional – or even addictive, and cause discord in our relationships
Our woundedness comes from our inheritance of the attitudes and behaviors our ancestors had to adopt to survive, birthing a Me-Versus-You way of navigating the world.
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The repercussions of the negative, hurtful, and divisive attitudes and behaviors of the me-versus-you concept became entrenched in our DNA throughout the centuries until it became our default.
Society’s default way of navigating the world has mainly been through the negative and divisive attitudes and behaviors of fear, greed, judgment, biases, competition, and suspicion of others – especially those different from us.
Negative and divisive attitudes and behaviors constrict our being.
The connection to our power base weakens. We become disempowered.
When disempowered, we look to feel empowered from outside of ourselves. We then become stuck in a vicious cycle of attempting to feel empowered through disempowering, constricting methods, further weakening our power base.
Getting angry and lashing out; being critical, judgmental, or defensive; resorting to blaming or trying to control others, and being passive-aggressive are all tactics that come from feeling disempowered. Rather than give us what we want, these ways of countering further constrict our being.
Woundedness Passes on from Generation to Generation
Those supposed to love and protect us have been wounded by those supposed to love them. They may have hurt us or been emotionally distant, leaving us with a scarred heart and confused emotions.
Many of us developed protective/defensive mechanisms to shield our hearts – to guard us against real – or perceived assaults on our emotional world.
I say perceived assault because often, we are triggered to react because of something that echoes a past hurt. Past hurts cause us to react inappropriately to what is currently happening.
Protective/defensive mechanisms and habitual behavioral patterns create barriers to love and being fully open to life’s possibilities.
To overcome the woundedness within, we have to look at our emotional world honestly – and how it may be contributing to what causes our upsets, agers, hurt feelings, and conflicts in our relationships.
Understanding ourselves, our triggers, and our habitual ways of responding to issues and others, we can start to address any areas of our woundedness that might need healing.
Journaling helps us acknowledge our hurts, pains, true feelings, and disappointments that have caused our triggers to arise and create unwanted feelings, reactions, or dealings with others.
And once we understand ourselves and how we unknowingly act and react, we can more easily feel compassion for another.
Journaling helps Us to:
1) Express Our Thoughts
2) Articulate Our Feelings and Emotions
3) Connect the Dots
4) Ask a Question
5) Hash Out Ideas
6) Shift Our Energy with an Appreciation Journal
Set Your Intention – and a Say a Small Prayer or Ask Your Best Self to Join You
To ensure we create a positive atmosphere – or energy bubble, setting an intention – on what we are attempting to achieve in our journaling session puts us on the right path.
To set out intention, we sit quietly for a few moments and, in our minds, tell ourselves what we want from this session.
Saying a prayer or asking our best self invites Universal wisdom to the process.
Our intention can be anything from …
🔹 Soothing our injured heart
🔹 Trying to understand why such and such happened
🔹 Getting clarity on a specific issue or question
🔹 Get answers when faced with choices
🔹 Raise our vibration by writing out what we are – or could appreciate.
1)Expressing Our Thoughts
As we sit and write out our thoughts and words pour out onto the page (or screen😊), we can more readily acknowledge and express them. I am angry. I am lonely. I am xyz. This is the first level of journaling. We are acknowledging our thoughts.
As we continue writing, we can go deeper for greater understanding.
Looking to the why’s, we can get in touch with the feelings. And it is the feelings and attached emotions that give us the best clues as to how to work through the unwanted thoughts.
Our thoughts may be: anger, fear, disappointment, blame, judgment, I hate it when … etc..
For example: Start with “I am angry at such-and-such,” move onto “because he/she did this or that,”
Then we go deeper into how “this made me feel xyz.”
2)Articulating Our Feelings and Emotions
As we move from thoughts – to feelings and emotions, we get to the real issue.
How we feel is never about what someone else said, didn’t say, did, or didn’t do. It is how it made us feel. Our feelings are ours, and we own them. We are in charge of them.
If we feel bad about something or someone, expressing it gets it out of our system.
Using the example above: “I am angry at such-and-such,” “because he/she did this or that,” then we want to acknowledge how this made you feel.
The feelings could be: hurt, lonely, depressed, scared, etc
3)Connecting the Dots
Connecting the dots helps us understand that our feelings and emotions belong to us, and we can manage them – with a little knowledge of their origins.
For example: Being disappointed is a thought about something expected that didn’t happen. The “didn’t happen” is simply something wanted that didn’t take place. It is a thing – a non-event. Feeling hurt, bad, or put-upon because you were disappointed is taking it personally.
Taking it personally is your thing. Whether the “didn’t happen” was through miscommunication, an unvoiced expectation, a misunderstanding, because of forgetfulness on the others’ part, or they are mean or selfish, how you feel about it is your responsibility.
When Connecting the Dots, we look at …
🔹 The why’s this happened. A misunderstanding, miscommunications, or …
🔹 Did I have a part in it? For example, I did not voice my desire/expectation or was not clear about it
🔹 Is this a re-occurrence I let pass before and never addressed it with the individual?
🔹 Am I overreacting?***
Acknowledging that any of the first three above – or that somehow, we inadvertently caused someone to disappoint us helps alleviate any lingering anger or hurt feelings, we may be holding onto.
Just from being honest with ourselves and connecting a few dots, we garnered a little self-awareness. We got an ah-ha moment, and a little self-healing has taken place. This is not a small thing!
Most of us have lived without any desire to look at “our part.” Remember, we have been stuck in that me-versus-you concept from past generations where anger, blame, judgment, etc., was the norm. These were like emotional weapons. Overcoming these is spiritual growth.
Personal/Self-growth is like putting down emotional weapons.
As we start to understand ourselves and our triggers, there is less conflict in our life.
This is no small thing! It is actually a sacred undertaking.
And when we recognize that we may have caused a misunderstanding, we can easily adjust our way of approaching things so that it doesn’t happen again. However, the fourth is much harder to acknowledge.
***Am I Overreacting?
None of us want to think we are overreacting. Often, when someone tells us we are, it is the other being defensive. However, sometimes it is us overreacting!
Overreacting is one of the main repercussions of woundedness. And it takes courage and a deep dive into our emotional world to unravel the unconscious influences causing it.
We can journal our way through our overreactions; however, it isn’t usually a one-time event. Next week, I will be creating a post Connecting the Dots. (You can join my Facebook page to stay updated on my posts. The link at the end).
In the meantime, here is a small recap:
Journaling to Connect the Dots to Overreactions:
I’ll use the above example of being disappointed when someone did or didn’t do what they said they would or what you expected them to.
Example: “I am angry at such-and-such,” “because he/she did this or that,” “I feel: Hurt and Lonely.”
Connecting the Dots to Feeling Hurt and Lovely:
We may write: “I feel hurt because they didn’t come home for supper, as we discussed. They often do this to me, leaving me alone. I was lonely all night because we had plans. I could have made other plans. They don’t care about me.”
In our mind, we then ask to be connected to an event in childhood where we were disappointed and left alone, and we feel lonely and that the person didn’t care about us.
Something will usually come up, and we get another ah-ha moment.
4) Asking a Question
Whenever we are uncertain about what to say, what to do, or how to move forward in life in any way, creating the energy bubble that journaling provides can give us a clear answer.
As you set your intentions, ask your question, then write it down. Ideas and impressions will start to form in your being. Write them all down in a free-flowing way.
As we allow the words to flow out of us, the pros and cons come to the surface of our awareness, and we start to see the best way to move forward.
5) Hashing Out Ideas
When we use journaling to hash out ideas, we gain clarity.
After setting your intention to know the best way forward, write out the idea or ideas. Many solutions and impressions will start to come to you. Write them all out as they come – without editing.
You will likely get a feel on which way to go. You can review it all later, working out the logistics to help you decide.
When journaling, we are alone and unencumbered by other’s opinions. And as we are invoking the wisdom of our higher selves, weak or unhelpful ideas fall away, leaving us with the best solutions.
6) Shift Our Energy with an Appreciation Journal
Whether we write out what we are thankful and appreciative for as part of our morning practice or when we want to uplift ourselves, an appreciation journal is a beautiful way to raise our vibration.
And it doesn’t matter if we write about small things like having clean water, heating and air conditioning in our houses or places of work. It is the act of doing it and the intention behind it. We work off the “fake it until you make feel” concept.
Even if we can’t feel appreciation when we start, the feeling comes as we continue writing.
The intention behind doing the practices gets the ball rolling, and often we find that we have filled up pages with all the things, people, and love and experiences we have had – and even those we would like to have.
Next week I will post a companion worksheet: Connecting the Dots. Follow my Facebook page here. to stay updated.
– Rosemary McCarthy©, August 27, 2021.
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Copyright © Rosemary McCarthy August 27th, 2021. All rights Reserved. To copy, share, or distribute this post simply ensure the content is copied in its entirety, is unaltered, and is distributed freely and for no monetary or personal gain, and that this copyright notice and the link for the article and the website: www.spiritedfawnpublications.com/ are included. You can contact me at:firstname.lastname@example.org. Blessings and thank you kindly. Rosemary.