Day 6: What if my journal is full of doom and gloom and I don’t want it to be?
When we talk about using our journal as a place to empty out thoughts and feelings, often the deep thoughts, and even more deeply felt feelings, are the ones that bring us down.
The doom and gloom that makes us feel like the world is a dark and sad place.
The worry and the fear that can be so emotionally crippling that we never get up out of misery and take action in our lives.
On day three of the 31 Day Journal Writing Challenge I shared with you about a time in my life when I was focused on my journal being a place that collected all my happy thoughts.
Ultimately, when I made that decision, all of the benefits of keeping a journal went right out the window.
Instead of having a place where I could process my fears, concerns, and worries of the day, I kept them all in. The pages of my journal became disgustingly glossy, sugarcoated pictures of my life that were not real.
I wanted my journal to look good if someone else found it and decided to read it. I was more concerned with making sure other people thought I was happy, and convincing myself that life was great, instead of being focused on what my journal could teach me.
(Which, by the way, was that I was not happy, I was not living to my life on my terms, and it was time to make a change. And yes, this happened when I was married to my first husband.)
When we pick up the pen and engage in the process of facing our fears and worries head on, we gain power over them.
Instead of letting them live inside of our minds and hearts, eating us up and keeping us from moving forward with the things we really want out of life, we tell them, “hey man, I know you’re here, but I’m going to do this anyway.”
Dumping out the doom and gloom is one powerful way to get through it. Over it, under it, whatever visual works for you.
When we let our journal take it all the bad stuff that keeps us stuck, we are able to see it for what it is, at both a conscious and subconscious level.
All that junk that we keep inside of us blocks us from achieving our full potential. We all have amazing things we want to do. Business ideas, going back to school, living and working in another country, designing our own line of shoes, homeschooling our kids, planting a garden, etc.
The way our story plays out is different for each of us too. While one person might be scared to leave a day job and start a business, another person might own a business and long to leave someone else in charge to travel the world, but thinks they can’t.
Each person can be plagued by those pesky little voices that give us all the reasons why it’s a bad idea to pursue a dream or a change that big. When we keep those voices inside, we give them power over us.
When we intentionally let those voices loose on the page or in the computer, we give them a chance to be heard, we create an opportunity to let them know that things are going to be different, and we can clearly see that what we want is possible.
So, yes, in using your journal to work through your fears and doubts, it might make for a gloomy and sad read.
But over time, if you decide to change your life and take the actions to do so, then you’ve just achieved the most enriching benefit from keeping a journal a person can get.
And you can have your awesome story be a part of the pages too. Right alongside the doom and gloom.
Prompt for the day: What is the worst possible story you could write in your journal? Maybe its time to write that story down. You don’t have to keep it, you can throw it away, burn it, or bury it. But maybe just writing it is what needs to happen now.
Like this article? Please feel free to use it on your own blog or newsletter. I simply ask that you please include this blurb:Sara Marchessault is a coach, writer, and mom who helps busy women use journaling to create more space in their life for being productive without feeling overwhelmed. To learn more about Sara and her work in the world, please visit joyfulbydesign.com or saramarchessault.com.