"The Truth is..." Journaling to Heal

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I had never felt sadness like this before. I couldn’t make it through the day without having an immense break down. Tears streaming, sobs of mourning and a vast empty feeling in my heart. Healing after a traumatic event is hard. Whether it is the death of a loved one, an illness, loss of a job or a break up, it is hard to pick up the pieces around you when you just can’t seem to see the light.

I recently went through a very difficult life event. Unlike anything I had ever felt before, this event broke my spirits and life deeply. Each day was harder and harder. I listened to podcasts about healing. I went to yoga. I called my best and wisest girlfriends to talk. While they all helped a bit, I still couldn’t shake the darkness.

One Sunday afternoon, I abruptly left my cousin’s baby shower in tears. I was having another breakdown, the kind I would have daily. I got in my car and started to drive home. I saw a sign for Walden Pond in Concord, MA and decided that I needed to be in nature and take a walk, one of my favorite healing modalities. It was there that I invented something that changed my life; “My Truth…”.

I sat by the water with tears streaming down my face and took out a blank piece of paper. I wrote on the top “My truth”. Days and days had gone by with the same thoughts reoccurring in my head. The story of what had happened. How sad I was, how strong I wanted to be, what happened. I told friends the story. They listened. But there was something blocking me from healing. It was the truth.

There is a constant filter that goes on when we express our feelings to others, even sometimes to ourselves. We tell the story the way that is true but also sounds kind of good. The stuff that is obviously relevant to what is happening to you. Because they are listening with care for your wellbeing. But there is more to that dialogue. A lot more that you haven’t thought about. Perhaps the things that are blocking your healing. That is your truth.

What are the things you haven’t said?

With the piece of paper in my hand that said “My Truth”, I started to write. Things that were true to me that I had never actually expressed. Those things that badger me in the back of my mind all day but I have continued to block them out. The first couple of things that I wrote actually seemed unrelated to my breakup. They were things about me. Things that I really never wanted to say but knew they were true. The first one I wrote was “I feel so vain.” I had never said that to myself before but I sometimes felt that way. I would block that thought out immediately if I felt it.

Anything and everything came out. Like a stream of consciousness. Things that were unrelated and also related. My fears, what I was afraid would happen, memories, nightmares, what I felt deep down inside and most importantly, My Truth. It was like someone had a rope and was pulling little things out of my throat so that I was empty and able to focus and see what’s really there. These were the things that were holding me back from finding peace within myself. The things that were stopping the healing process because they were stuck in my way to really see who I was.

As Jim Carrey so eloquently puts it in Liar Liar, “the truth shall set you free”. There is something about the truth, that maybe feels so locked up inside us, that energetically shifts us when released. It slowly allows you to realize things that you hadn’t before.

I took a nap that day, something I was unable to do for a while. I also felt excited to be alive. That evening, I braided my hair in cornrows, something I used to do that made me feel young and vibrant. I woke up the next morning and didn’t put on make up. I started to write this blog. I felt inspired. I felt like myself. But only better. The truth is, I’m just now finding myself again. I am remembering the things I used to believe that I had lost. The things I have wanted to do but held back.

The truths that I wrote down, they don’t have to be true forever. Maybe they are true right now, but that can be only temporary. The truth is, that is your choice. You can change your truth. You can shed light on your truth. You can be your truth. Or maybe your truth is actually really true.

How do you start?

Take out a few sheets of white paper.

Write “My Truth” at the tope of the page.

Find a quiet place to sit.

Start writing. I used the phrase “The truth is…” a lot as I wrote.

There is no judgment. Write the things you are deathly afraid that someone would read. The things that you, yourself are afraid to say, even on paper.

When you are done, rip it up into small pieces and throw it away.

You have released them.

Through this process, you may actually begin to see your truth.

Andrea Rodgers