Archive for July, 2008
I’m just about done Eat, Pray, Love. I feel like the last person on earth to read it, but that’s the beauty of a book. It’s always there to be experienced. You don’t have to do it when the crowd does it, you can do it on your own time. Last night I was looking back on some of the pages I dog-eared—reminding myself that those pages in particular stood out to me for one reason or another—and I found this gem. Elizabeth’s journey to wholeness began with a journal entry. Actually it began with emotional agony and uncertainty, but she was able to sooth herself with writing. It reminded me that this is what therapy is essentially: tapping into the parts of yourself that are focused and strong and asking them to help the parts of you that are trembling and weak.
Page 54 (of the paperback)
What I write in my journal tonight is that I’m weak and full of fear. I explain that Depression and Loneliness have shown up, and I’m scared they will never leave. I say that I don’t want to take drugs anymore, but I’m frightened I will have to. I’m terrified that I will never really pull my life together.
In response, somewhere from within me, rises a now-familiar presence, offering me all the certainties I have always wished another person would say to me when I was troubled. This is what I find myself writing to myself on the page:
I’m here. I love you. I don’t care if you need to stay up crying all night long, I will stay with you. If you need the medication again, go ahead and take it—I will love you through that, as well. If you don’t need the medication, I will love you, too. There’s nothing you can ever do to lose my love. I will protect you until you die, and after death I will still protect you. I am stronger than Depression and I am braver than Loneliness and nothing will ever exhaust me.
J is for July. J is also for journal. And I’m so excited because this July is the month my book on journal writing will hit shelves. I’ll spend this month (and probably next) on the look out for stories on journal-related things.
I found a good one today. A recent study reveals that people who keep diaries while trying to loose weigh have an easier time of it. “The study involving 1,685 middle-aged men and women over six months found those who kept such a diary just about every day lost about twice as much weight as those who did not.”
Although I’ve never kept a weight-loss diary, this makes perfect sense to me. Writing in a journal (diary as we’re calling it here) forces you to reconcile with yourself. You have to face the problem (the extra weight) and come up with your own solution. Writing a goal down solidifies it—makes it permanent. It’s more difficult to cast aside once it’s been written.