Yesterday, we talked about how journaling can help process anger, how it gives you an opportunity to learn to express yourself and your anger which is important, especially for us conflict avoiders. As was mentioned the other day, I (Ann) could honestly answer the question, "What are you feeling?" with "I don't know." Journaling - and believe me, it is not a natural tendency of mine to journal - truly helped me put words to the chaos, darkness, beauty and so much more that was my soul.
Another benefit of journaling is that it helps Chart the Ebb and Flow of Your Healing.
If you can somehow mark each day as good, bad, surviving; angry, grace-filled, avoidant; loving, hating, ambivalent or whatever words fit your situation, it can help you look back over the month, or sometimes months, to see that you are indeed making progress. That progress may be 3 steps forward and 2 steps back, but it is still progress. Some months may be 2 steps forward and 4 back. Don't be dismayed. During this journey you will experience setbacks. But you will also experience grace.
I (Ann) still have the little pocket calendar I kept the year my father became ill with terminal lung cancer, which was less than 2 years after the revelation of my affair. I 'charted' the good days, the bad days, the sad days, the joyful days, the hard days, the beautiful days. Every now and then I run across it as I am looking through a drawer or closet as I hunt for something else. And every time I find this little treasure, I find myself flipping through the pages, reliving the moments of that horrible, dreadful, beautiful, soul-changing year. It is a reminder to me that grieving my Daddy's death brought new life to my soul. It softened my heart to the point I would invite other women in rather than keep them at arm's length with my often empty words.
It is our hope that as you Chart the Ebb and Flow of Your Healing, that as you reflect on your experiences, that you will be reminded that all of this emotion - anger, grace, grief and so many others - are bringing new life to your soul. New life that will allow you to open your heart to others again.