It’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?