Journaling Exposed. AKA Fake conversations in my head

Journaling PerksIt’s crazy the power – the stronghold – feelings can have over me. Especially unexpressed feelings. I don’t realize their weight or their unfounded hold over me until I get them out on paper, until I can visually see their meaning. They become much less mighty in the face of truth, when their weakness is exposed with paper and pen.

That’s an excerpt from my journal last week. This year I’ve rediscovered the art and discipline of journaling, and my love for it! I forgot the freedom it brings me emotionally and the opportunity it gives me to process life. I’m always running from one thing to the next – journaling gives me the outlet to slow down and think about what’s going on around me.

Do any of you guys ever have made up conversations in your head? Do you play out imaginary scenarios and sometimes feel your blood boiling as you have this fake conversation with your spouse or friend in your head?

I do that all the time. I’m such a feeler. Sometimes those made up conversations help me to prepare for a real conversations, and other times they just get me more worked up as I feel more and more justified in my (usually NOT justified) feelings.

Enter journaling. I’ve mentioned before that I’ve been reading through Thirty One Days of Prayer for the Dreamer and Doer (affiliate link), as well as the SheReadsTruth Bible in a Year plan. I try to start off my mornings reading through those Scriptures and prayers, and then spending some time with my journal: a pen and paper.

Sometimes my journal looks like a highlight reel of the Scripture that spoke to me that day. Sometimes it looks like written prayers jumbled with messy confessions of my struggles in those moments. Sometimes it looks like prayers of desperation for God to shape my heart because I realized those confessions are ugly and rooted in sin.

All of those things, though, help me to move my thoughts from bouncing around inside my head to being exposed on paper. Left inside my head, those bouncing thoughts and feelings quickly feel justified and righteous. But more often than not, once they are spelled out on paper, I can see them for the lies they are. And I can preach truth to myself.

So this morning I’m grateful for the discipline of pen and paper. I’m thankful for the ways God speaks to my heart and gently shows me that I’m best off when not left alone inside my own head.

How do you preach truth to yourself or work through your emotions? Do you journal? Do you have a routine?

  • I couldn’t even begin to count how many imaginary conversations I have in my head during the run of a day. I’m constantly discussing something with someone and practicing how to have any given conversation that might happen any time in the next 50 years. I’ve always associated it with my anxiety, but it’s nice to know I’m not the only one! I love journalling, I wish I was more diligent writing every day but I’m slowly making it a daily habit once again.

    • You TOTALLY aren’t alone, Donna! I’m similar to you – it happens way more often than I thought was normal, so I’m also glad to know I’m not alone ;).

      And good for you for trying to reincorporate journaling into your life! I’m cheering you on!

  • I actually just wrote about journaling on my blog yesterday! I’m trying to get more into it, mainly because I have a lot going on in my head right now. Do you use any prompts other than devotionals? I’d love to see some!

    Emma | Seeking the South

    • That’s awesome! Just checked out your post – I DEFINITELY agree that “keeping it going” is the hardest part. I’m the QUEEN of buying cute journals and starting them without following up ever again. I’m a sucker for cute paper goods 😉

      I honestly haven’t used any other prompts this year, but I have pinned a couple prompt posts on my Pinterest board for writing this year. And I keep meaning to check them out to see if I want to use them soon!! I also did a book/study called “The Artist’s Way” last year with some friends, and it’s all about tapping into your creative self. A huge part of it is writing “morning pages” every day – and that just means writing sort of stream-of-consciousness style for a page or two. The book also had a list of prompts to work through weekly and I liked those a lot!

  • I LOVE journaling. I just finished a journal i started 2 years ago around New Years, so this year I started with a blank journal and use it to doodle and letter words that are especially important to me right now and I love it. My journal looks much like the same as yours – either Scripture, prayers, or moments where I just need to process.

    • That is AWESOME, Nina. Isn’t finishing a journal like the most victorious thing ever lol?! Mine has four colored “sections” in it, and I just started the second section last week and even that felt like a little victory. Ha!!

  • Oh my goodness lady this speaks right to me – I started writing down internal dialogue the other day and it felt so good to get it off my chest even if I didn’t share it with anyone, such a weight lifted! The power of writing is a crazy thing!

    • Amen!! The power of writing is soooo crazy!!! I love that this is something that works so well for you!

  • I try so hard to journal. I finally bought myself a new one for this year, and that helped. Finding the time during the day to do it is my struggle at the moment.

    I am the queen of made-up conversations and scenarios. I blame it on the fact that I’m an only child 😉

    • I feel you – it’s hard to get into a routine, and even harder to keep it!! I was doing a great job at starting off my mornings journaling and getting in the Word this whole year until this past week. I’ve starting slacking off and have therefore not done it every day, but I really want to make an effort to start my day with it! It makes SUCH a difference in my demeanor for the ENTIRE day.

  • Thomas Parker

    Yep. Made up conversations go on all. the. time.

    Most days I like the idea of journaling more than I actually journal, but I’ve managed to fill up one or two notebooks over the years. I can relate to what you say about it helping to put things back into perspective.

    • Haha. What I wouldn’t give to peek into other people’s made up conversations sometimes 🙂

  • I find that journaling helps me clear my mind and work through my thoughts so much easier. But I don’t make the time for it as much as I’d like to! Argh. It’s one of those things that I love doing, but somehow still don’t set aside time for.

    • I feel you girl. I definitely feel the same – it is so helpful for me to process my thoughts and feelings and I hope I can keep up the discipline!

  • yes to the fake conversations! glad to know i’m not the only one! 😉 although it can definitely be a pointless/bad thing sometimes!

    ya know i never really thought about the point you made that once things are down on paper we can see them for the lies that they are…. that is so much truth! motivates me to journal more so i can keep a check on myself! 🙂 thank you for your words, friend!

    • Thanks, Robyn!! It honestly didn’t occur to me either until I realized that’s what was happening!! I’m grateful for that outlet to process things and sort out what feelings are justified and what feelings are NOT!