I returned to my hotel after my “how to make writing easier” workshop hosted by BCRegMed at the University of British Columbia and pulled out my laptop from my backpack excited to connect with everyone who opted connect to receive their complimentary Discovery Call when I realized that something very precious to me was missing.
My stomach felt like it dropped out of my body and my skin felt like it was on fire on my cheeks. I kept hoping that I was just missing not seeing it as I checked and re-checked but my journal was not there, I had left it in the classroom.
My thoughts were – what would someone think if someone else reads my journal? It has all my best parts and my worst parts of myself in it … and now someone was holding it.
Thoughts about whether someone will read our journal can definitely come up for my clients as part of the resistance to writing down what thoughts and feelings are coming up for us. Especially if our true thoughts and feelings are not visible to others. Hidden behind this thought of wondering what others will think is of course the thought, what if I discover something that I really don’t like about myself.
Having this reaction to losing my journal allowed me to connect again with this type of resistance that comes up.
I first started journaling regularly in 2007 after reading Julia Cameron’s The Writer’s Way at Work. At that time I did worry that someone else might read it but I had forgotten about this worry of being seen in this way by others. Possibly because over time we become more comfortable with our thoughts and feelings and engaging with them allows us to be in relationship with them without judging them, or at least not as much or catching ourselves when we do. This takes practise! Also because I realize now that having that part of ourselves that we may not like be seen is an important part of the process, even if that’s just being seen by our own selves.
I wonder who my journal ended up with? What that person might have received from reading it. It is still lost even after some searching with the hope that it might be returned to me.
What I did find however was a reminder that part of the process of writing down our thoughts and feelings is not really about holding onto to them but a way of letting go of them.
If you or someone you know is having trouble even starting to look at your thoughts and feelings that are coming up as you are writing and you see that this is connected to why you are avoiding your writing, I would encourage you to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for your complimentary Discovery Call where we will look at what’s happening for you and whether the work I do might be a good fit for you.