I don't know about you but the last few weeks have been exhausting, dark, and emotionally taxing.
So I went to the mountains this week to take a breather and spent a significant amount of time journaling.
The power of journaling
Journaling is not something I consistently practice, however I was reminded this past weekend of just how healing it can be.
Journaling enables you to dump all of the thoughts, feelings and emotions that sometimes keep us trapped in an endless hamster wheel of obsession.
It is a safe space where you can express everything you feel without filters, and without worrying about external judgment or input. I often find that when I share my struggles with friends or family they of course respond through their lens, their perspectives, which can often further our own confusion.
So if you find yourself feeling overwhelmed, stuck in the same thought patterns, I encourage you to write it out. It doesn't have to be pretty, perfect, or refined. It is just for you and it is a safe space to release. And if you find yourself not knowing where to start, then write that down "I don't know what to write," and from there the expression will flow.
The clarity that comes through authentic expression
So the first few pages of my writing consisted of an intense release of thought, just furiously writing down all of the broken record thoughts and fears that had been consuming me.
Through this process of dumping, clarity began to emerge. I started to recognize that I had slipped back into the experience and mindset that I was taking on other peoples dark, angry and negative emotions. I was caught in a pattern of blame - blaming other people for making me feel the way that I did.
Other people cannot make you feel a certain way
The clarity that arose was the recognition that no one can make me feel a certain way. Therefore, if I was feeling angry, frustrated, bitter, etc. - these were not emotions that I was picking up from other people, they were in fact emotions that dwelled within me.
Here is a list of emotions and qualities I had been hating in the people around me that I realized existed with me as well:
Pessimism, short fuse/impatient, unsatisfied, anger, intensity, judgement of others
As soon as I had written all of these down in my journal I looked up to take a breath and this is the image I saw:
It dawned on me that my eye was immediately drawn to that low center of light. AND, is was the dark contrast around that enabled the light to pop and have such vitality and beauty.
I experienced head to toe chills and felt tears of gratitude welling up as I realized that it was all of these "dark" and "negative" aspects within me that enabled the shiny "positive" aspects to shine so brightly.
So I spent time in journal meditation, thanking each of the aspects I had been judging.
Pessimism, thank you, thank you for contributing to my whole, for enabling me to have optimism.
Anger, thank you, thank you for making my joy and happiness possible.
To the One who is never satisfied, thank you for enabling me to experience peace and fullness.
To the Intensity, thank you for enabling me to experience the heights of passion and ecstasy.
To the short fuse, thank you for enabling me to experience patience.
I invite you to reflect on the so called negative feelings, emotions and thoughts that you have. Can you own them fully and recognize that they exist as a part of your whole? That you can't pick up emotions like cooties, that if you experience them then they already exist within you? And in that recognition acknowledging that they are not bad, but in fact here to enable you to experience their counter emotion? And from there can you thank them for offering you that experience?
The darkness and light, despair and elation, hopelessness and hope, pessimism and optimism in me humbly honors and bows to all that you are.
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!