Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas
Journaling is like whispering to one’s self and listening at the same time. Mina Murray
On Saturday I stopped in at my favorite Indigo store and saw an author sitting at a table with no one visiting him. I talked with Darcy Patrick for a short while and learned he is a runner, author, speaker, and his topics are running and mental health. One of his books is Creative Writing for the Mind, Body & Soul.
He told me that writing helped him through depression and he is hoping to help break the stigma behind depression and mental illness. Writing is one of the keys that helped him, by letting others know what helps he is trying to give the keys to other people.
When we find our voice we find our self. We may find our voice through writing journals that no one but us will read. We may write poems, songs, short stories we never intend to do anything with. Getting our thoughts out of our head is good for our mental health.
Telling our stories to each other may be even more beneficial but if we can at least put them down on paper or a computer we can see what we’ve written with some distance between us and our thoughts.
Making money from our writing may be a laudable goal, but writing for its own sake is important. In fact, once we bring money into the mix we may no longer say what needs to be said. We may no longer write what is important, how could we say “that”? It is the hard things we must write about, not that they need to be shared. We don’t have to write our story, we can put distance between our self and our story by writing fiction. In fiction, we can write “the lie that tells a truth”.
At Toastmasters some people give speeches that are very personal, vulnerable, and powerful. Other people never touch on anything that is personal and we don’t have the same kind of connection to their talk. There is no right way to do this.
The page listens and does not judge. Therefore you can tell it anything without fear. Unknown
Many people find when they are willing to speak the truth about their life; other people are touched because they also felt the same insecurities, made mistakes and had to get back up after a failure.
When we hear or read about how other people got through the hard times in their life we feel we too can get through the hard times in ours. Often we have the misperception that everyone else has better relationships with their spouse, kids, in-laws, friends, and family.
Long marriages aren’t long because it was necessarily easy. They are long because two people got through everything that came their way. Our lives go through seasons and we may look at the spring in someone else’s life when we are going through the winter in ours and think how lucky they are. Our spring is coming too if we hold on, and work through whatever we need to work through.
Writing can help us do that. When we write down our thoughts, dreams, desires, hopes, fears, failures, vulnerabilities, and angst about the world we can find a measure of peace.
Sometimes in life, we have to be willing to say “just for today”. All we can manage is getting through today. If we get through enough today’s we get through the situation we couldn’t see the outcome to. Maybe the worst actually happened. Someone died, a divorce that was threatened became reality, we have to deal with the disease, loss of a livelihood or relationships that are severed. Maybe the worst didn’t happen. Either way, we are on the other side of it.
When we take life a day at a time, we can deal with “what is”. We can write, we can pray, we can meditate, and we can talk. A lot of life is putting one foot in front of the other, and doing the next thing there is to do. Can we be kind to our self and others, and do it with gratitude, joy, and love? Is there is anything else to do but deal with what is?
If you are depressed, you are living in the past. If you are anxious, you are living in the future. If you are at peace, you are living in the present. Lao Tzu
Thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you will come back and read some more. Have a blessed day filled with gratitude, joy, and love.
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