Sunday, February 16, 2014

So...On Journal Writing

Hey guys.  I'm back.
It's been awhile - I know - but to be honest, I didn't really notice until I sat down to blog tonight and realized that more than half of February has gone by and not one post.
Oh well. 
All is not lost.

I've actually been spending more time writing in my journal recently and trying to focus on that.  My journal has been seriously neglected in the past year - which I wasn't feeling great about - but it was a deliberate choice I felt was a necessary part of a change I'm working on.  It actually is part of an epiphany I had a while back I thought worth documenting and sharing.

Let me back up a little bit.

December 2012.
Kind of a low point for me.

I was battling some major negativity, self-destructive thoughts, major anxiety, and bottom line I was really struggling.  It crippled so many of my days and I was having a really hard time.  Husband and I had many very serious conversations about how to work through it, how to get out of it, the possibility of medication or other professional help, and what our plan of action needed to be.  He was such a trooper and such a solid rock for me during that time. 

I was so frustrated and flat out mad about my emotional state.  I hated how my personal struggles effected our family life so much and didn't want my children to suffer the negative effects of my weaknesses and struggles.  I did not want to be so full of negativity.  In fact, I so strongly desired to be the exact opposite of that, but I felt so stuck in who I was and how I was and I didn't know how to crawl out of it.

Mostly, I was just so sick of and frustrated to be having the same struggle that I had had so many times before - battling the never ending mountain of negativity inside of me.

In one conversation that I had with Husband, he got a little worked up and made a comment like, "and you need to quit writing in your journal about how crappy your life is!" 

At first I was kinda bugged with him.  Up until that point I had used my journal writing as a way to cope with the hard things of life.  I felt like it was a healthy way for me to process and work through things.  It was a safe place for me to be honest with how I felt about things, including being able to complain about things that I didn't necessarily want to complain about out loud.

At first I was kinda bugged when he said that.
But inside I knew he was right.
And this is where the epiphany came -

Ridding myself of negativity starts from the inside out.
It does not begin with my outward expressions, actions, and interactions.
No matter how positive I try to be when talking to my friends, responding to my husband, or interacting with my children, if my inside is still full of all that negativity (which I hold on to and later pour out into the pages of my private journal) I am still remaining a negative person, no matter how positive I try to outwardly be.

Positivity is more than just not saying the negative.
It is more than just changing what we say and how often we smile.
It is literally changing the way we think, the way we feel, the way we react, the way we view life -
On the inside.  
It is changing our heart.
And I absolutely believe it is possible to change.

So in 2013 I took a break from journal writing - which was strange because I've always been pretty consistent at journaling.  But it was a great thing for me.  It has been a huge leap for me in my journey to becoming a more positive person. 

I have returned to journaling in 2014 with a new commitment to fill its pages with gratitude and experiences that have strengthened my testimony in the Savior.  I write down my thoughts on scriptures I've read or meaningful conversations I have with my kids or my friends.  I write about things that I love or goals that I have for the future.  (Think "virtuous, lovely, of good report, or praiseworthy" - those types of things).  Journaling has become again for me an enriching experience that makes me feel good and grateful and inspired and motivated to make tomorrow an even better day.

I used to think I was doing my children a favor by writing down the things I struggle with, thinking that maybe some day they would appreciate knowing that mom had a hard time being a mom too.  I'm starting to realize that I'm doing my kids much more of a favor by choosing happiness, choosing joy, and choosing to view my life and experience as a mother in a positive way instead of a challenge that I'm coping with, working through, and trying to make the best of.  I'm doing my kids a favor by writing that stuff down - instead of the other garbage - and showing gratitude for the little things that make life so wonderful and bring me closer to God. 

Because whatever I'm holding on to inside of me, will show on the outside when I interact with them.  And I want that to be as positive as possible. 

I want to get rid of the negativity completely - I don't just want to cope with it.

It is amazing what a difference this fresh start in journal writing has made. 
I've fallen in love with journal writing again, which may mean that for a while blogging will take a back seat.  We shall see.  But for now, I'm enjoying being reunited with my old friend - my hand written record that I keep on my nightstand. may also like::
::So...On Making a Change
::So...Writing and Fighting My Battles
::So...A Record

Thanks for stopping by!

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