Today I rediscovered by mistake in my notes a line that belongs to Haruki Murakami, my favorite author. He said:
„At some point, everything has to be told. If you don't, you remain forever a prisoner of the secret you carry in your soul.”
His words touched me in a new way, as I understood them from a different perspective, with more experience of life, with more maturity.
He made me reflect on my work, where I could find so many examples of people telling me they leave my office feeling relieved after sharing their thoughts and secrets.
In my life, I am aware of how good I feel after opening my heart and my mind to my partner or to my friends about a difficult issue or a fear that I have.It feels like once a thought is out there, it loses its power over us, it creates the emotional distance we need to feel light and free, and our difficult emotions are taking an ease.
But not all of us can afford to go to therapy or dare to express our deepest thoughts and feelings. Or we don’t want to be a burden to others, we feel too ashamed to talk about a particular subject. Or there are things that we sometimes want to keep for ourselves until we reflect and understand their meaning better.
So what can we do?
In such cases, journaling was always a way to externalize and express thoughts and feelings.
When I was a teenager, I used to write my thoughts and feelings just as they came to me. No editing, no judgment, just the story of what was going on.
Now I follow a form of structured journaling that allows me to put an order in my thoughts or to express my feelings when I am upset. It also helps me find guidance in solving the situation and set specific actions. It’s like the inner adviser who is available to me anytime I need it.
Two questions are my favorites:What am I proud of?What am I grateful for?
After writing down my problems and brainstorming solutions, recounting my successes and things that are good in my life, leaves me with a sweet taste in the end. It’s like having a light dessert after a heavy meal.
Gratitude is counting my blessings. It is about paying attention to the people, health, and ressources I have in my life. I feel that somehow this is more outside my control.
Asking myself what am I proud of helps me reflect upon MY contribution to my life and the way I take responsibility for my actions. This question takes my attention off the old mindset of seeing what I am lacking, what I didn’t do, and places it towards the positives, what I did do, and what was still possible, despite a difficult situation.
Finally, the message I want to transmit is to take time for yourself and to speak up or write down about things you carry in your soul. No miracle intervention will make us happy in an instant. But being there for yourself, and showing up when you need, will ease your heart and mind.
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