Journaling should be mandatory. Like, you’ll be tossed into a cell somewhere to think things over, young lady, until you write down the truth that you are deadlocked in eye contact with – write it down wether you like it or not, wether it’s “reality” or not. What is reality anyway? I always think I will remember really big moments. and then I read over old journal entries or blog posts and I’m flat out blown away. Oh YEAH – holy crap, that happened. And. Ohmygod I can’t believe I really felt that way – how in the world did I survive it? But the one thing that keeps happening with alarming consistency is that I do, in fact, keep surviving all the crazy things. And then they pass quietly into the flow of time behind me.
It’s important that we remember where we used to be and how far we’ve come. When we do, we are far more likely to give ourselves a break for stumbling over an unkind word or a disappointing thing that happens. We may not be so hard on ourselves that it takes us a few hours or a day to get over something, if we remember that the same sort of thing used to take us out for weeks or months – or I am not exaggerating – years. Things that hurt me have taken YEARS to get over and that is while actively trying to sort it out, to deal with the pain or loss, not stuffing it. So now when I realize I have moved through a difficult thing in hours instead of days, or days instead of months, I celebrate how far I’ve come. I take comfort in being able to see that I have grown instead of beating myself up for allowing my feelings to be hurt – again. Because I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but if you’re gonna be brave enough to live whole heartedly, your feelings will be hurt from time to time. It doesn’t mean you’re doing it wrong, it means you’re alive.
We often put harsh expectations on ourselves – made up of all the voices in our head that judge us (you know those voices) – when if we just took stock a little more often, we might just see that a goal we set a year ago was actually reached, or our desire to be more patient or kind was accomplished. It could happen.
It’s so easy to forget how far we’ve come, so do yourself a favor, pick up a pen and paper (any ole notebook will do but leather journals are the best like my brand new tree of life journal pictured here!!) and be honest about where you are right now and where you want to be – because you gotta start somewhere. So one day in the future when you’re feeling lost or like a big, fat failure, you can look back and see how far you’ve come. You can wait and thank me then. 🙂