Glimpsing the benefits of journalling

After just a few days, I'm starting to see what journalling is about, and it is not quite what it seemed to me on the surface.

First, there is the real life benefit of having to sit quietly and reflect on what is worth writing about. Not just the first thing that comes into my head, which is an approach that would most likely make this journal unreadable to others, and in time even to myself. However, there comes a difficulty here. On a day like today, when I have been pretty busy with many calls, firstly it has been time-consuming to follow up with notes to people I need to make or keep contact with; and secondly there seem like too many things to condense into one stream. I haven't found the golden thread, yet at least. And I don't want to put off bedtime just because I haven't written yet. No!

So, my difficulty writing this entry brings me straight to a point of reflection to write about in this entry. Neat! My reluctance to say no. My not ensuring I have time to do things I want to prioritise. Have I said 'my' often enough to tick the box that says "I own this issue"? Other people don't 'make me' do things I don't really want to do. It's my wanting to please people, my aversion to other people's disappointment or even anger. <cringe>

And then, just by going through with writing this, the other side appears. Actually I'm not that bad. I do say no sometimes. I do try to balance my needs with those of others.

That goes along with the second benefit I see with journalling. Writing it down makes whatever it is clearer and more obvious for me. Particularly when feeling a mixture of emotions, I often find it difficult to spin that out into a thread of words straight away – there seem to be too many strands to connect, to cohere, until given time to process. And as I am a person who habitually finds it hard to put feelings into words (not through lack of feelings!), it is good, particularly good for relationships, to have that practice in putting matters into words. In this case, not just to accept the feeling that I imagine other people might expect me to have, or that I might be accused of having, but to recognise the depth and variety, and indeed the richness and complexity, of what is there in the human condition that I share with everyone.

So I am inclined to keep at it. I hope.

Topics: Journal writing; Self-analysis

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