Writing to heal

I have this habit of writing things and forgetting I wrote them. This morning, I picked up the journal that sits at my bedside table and started flipping through the pages. My first reaction was, I wrote that? When did I write that? I'm always impressed by my stream-of-consciousness writing... it's full of insight. The words are rough and uncensored, but they make perfect sense. They remind me that truth resides within, and connecting with the truth always leads to freedom.

That, to me, is the healing power of writing.

Years ago, I quit my TV job (for the first time) and moved to Portland, Oregon. I had all these ideas about what moving across the country would be like... I imagined that such a drastic change, living on the "left coast," would be the remedy to my unrest. Instead, I experienced an identity crisis, completely fell apart and spent days on the couch battling bouts of depression. I prayed for answers. I waited and waited. And the more time passed, the more I unraveled.

In many ways, I was grieving. I was experiencing the death of the dream. I had made choices that sent me down a path I didn't plan. I had altered my course in a way that couldn't be easily reversed.

Before I moved to Portland, I started keeping a journal. On rainy Portland mornings, I would go to the library to check my email (it was 2002, okay?). While there, I browsed the aisles and started checking out books. Books on spirituality, on understanding God's will, on how to recover when life knocks the wind out of you.

As I navigated the stages of grief, I continued to write. In this process of being stripped down, I was becoming a more authentic version of myself. As I moved towards acceptance, I began to feel lighter. I was on the slow road to healing.

So in many ways, my move cross-country turned out to be exactly what I expected. A remedy to my unrest. Funny how that works.

So what about you? Do you keep a journal? You don't have to consider yourself a writer to benefit from the healing powers of putting your thoughts and feelings on the page. Your own insights and truth have the power to surprise and heal you, too.