Surrender to Journaling
Journaling is not always a joyful experience. Sometimes it is a therapeutic release to explore self-awareness or simply just “get it out” somewhere. You do not need to be a great poetic writer to spill out an experience or emotion. But journaling may just be the strategy needed to deal more effectively and authentically with our thoughts and emotions. Here is a recent journal entry I wrote on New Years Day that I keep coming back to, searching for further meaning.
“My friend’s beautiful lakeside home was full of chatter and laughter throughout the 2018 New Year’s Eve party where a lovely group of their neighbors and friends arrived to celebrate 2018 New Year’s Eve together. I was thrilled to be invited, having coined 2018 the year of goodbyes after what seemed like countless events that were ends to jobs, relationships, children and dreams. So naturally I was excited and optimistic about the upcoming year, and thrilled to start it off at this full spread of food, dancing and festivities. As the clock approached midnight, our gracious hosts put on the television to capture the traditional NYC square where thousands had gathered from far and wide to await the ball drop at midnight. At our cozy community party, the mini-groups around me leaned in and began to gather around to await the moment of the night with eyes on the television. I was seated on the arm of the couch and with less than five minutes till midnight, I became unexplainably anxious. Had I just realized that this was the first year that I would not have my family with me at midnight? Add to that, I would be no one’s first New Years cheers or kiss and realizing that, I experienced an instant and distressing emotion that consumed me.
The historic ball fell in New York’s time square and immediately so did my tears. I took a deep breath using every strategy I had ever found to fight emotions and drew in. That one breath and only a few seconds later, I was intercepted with five sweet friends surrounding me with kisses and hugs, clinking glasses and laughter. Within another couple of minutes my phone was ringing with my child’s voice and love yelling into the phone over the celebrating at her own party.
In what became a soothing repetitive trance to myself for the next few moments, I calmed.
I am blessed. I am loved. I am so lucky. Relax I repeated to myself.
My fear came unexpected, and intensely. I didn’t recognize the lonely woman sitting on the sofa edge. I didn’t like her weakness. As quickly as it came, it left. Within moments the lonely woman was gone and I was back, partying and dancing , so thrilled it was 2019 in my blessed life.”
I am sharing this journal today because I have had recurring thoughts about that night and the fifteen minutes of intense fear that started off my year. Why do I keep thinking about it? Is it trying to give me a message? Do I need to reflect on it more? Or talk about it? Was I suppressing feelings at this party? Am I hiding my fears behind my party pals and dance floor?
The fact that I journaled about it has been a sweet release while I figure that out. I continue to re-read it, connecting with my inner self what it means and recalling that very personal and private moment. Journaling is a strategy that works for people to become more self-aware, and tap into our emotional and spiritual beings, even if just recounting an event or trying to massage out feelings about an experience or relationship. There are many ways to journal, but just simply beginning to, when you have one of those significant “life moments” is a good start.
Recall it, Re-live it and Reflect on it. One day looking back at it, I am wondering if I will understand it more or be more aware than today. I feel released of it for now. And for that I am thankful for journaling, not always for the joy of it but often the surrender and insight it brings.