The Dangers of Journaling

As I sit outside, alone with my coffee, and welcome the coolness of the early morning sunrise, I realize that Fall is just around the corner, and it makes me semi-reflect on the quickly passing summer. This summer has been a hard one, but one that has been way overdue. God and I started on a journey in April, and I haven’t looked back. He has been with me all the way, leading me, guiding me, pushing me, and then holding me when I feel beaten; like I can’t do it anymore and need to rest. The rest periods have been short and very sweet, and God has never allowed time for me to become complacent before sending me back to the battlefield. This fight has been really hard, but I know that it will be well worth it in the end.

I have never been one to journal, but it has been very necessary for this season. Journaling has allowed me to document my process–my inner healing–how far I’ve come. Some days I feel I haven’t come far at all and other days, I feel victorious. When I journal, I am able to document both. It allows me to look back and see where my defeat once felt huge and how it looks smaller now. I can look at the things that were mountains and how I was able to overcome them, and the things that I thought were mountains but, in the end, turned out to be only molehills.

The hard-core truth is, I hate to journal. I love to write, but I hate to journal. It’s just not the same. Writing is a way for me to express my thoughts, experiences, and ambitions, and journaling is much more than that. It is personal…very personal. It touches more than the surface of my brain. It cares nothing about me, my ambitions, my desires. It speaks hurtful¬†truth and doesn’t allow me to be free and creative with my imagination. It is sneaky–the way it goes in and grabs the innermost parts of your subconscious and pulls out things that you may have never even known were there–ugly¬†things; hard things. I hate journaling, but these days I make myself journal, and I really struggle with it.

Journaling is like an excavator. It digs deep, and it digs wide. It can lead you to the root of your emotions and actions. Journaling can be messy; it can be beautiful; it can be both, even at the same time. During parts of my journaling, there have been things that have come up that I never remember thinking about before–messy things, and as soon as I would write them down, emotions would heighten; feelings would strengthen. I would think that things were much better for me before I had the memory, but what I began to realize was that keeping it inside was like keeping it in an ugly, dark, moldy dungeon, and bringing it out was setting it free. It was setting ME free.

Journaling is like an excavator. It digs deep and wide. It can lead you to the root of you. Click To Tweet

Some things that I journal about are my inner thoughts, memories, significant events during my day, my nightly dreams, and my hopes and dreams for the future. There is no right or wrong thing to journal about, and I don’t pay any attention to my handwriting techniques or how legible it is. No one is going to read it but me. My journal is pretty messy because my hand cannot keep up with everything that’s pouring out of my soul, and I end up scribbling more than writing neatly.

I have never liked journaling in the past, I don’t like journaling now, and there’s a good chance that I will never like journaling in the future. I tend to procrastinate about it a lot, but when I finally get to it, it is always extremely helpful for me. It has allowed me to sort through my feelings when I have been confused or overwhelmed. It has helped me make good decisions about tough circumstances and situations. It has helped me get things out that should have never been inside in the first place, and most of all, it has been a tremendous aid to this summer’s journey.

Happy journaling…


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