Keeping a journal or a diary can help express emotions that we often suppress. Having a personal journal where you can write all your feelings and thoughts enables you to understand yourself better. When we allow ourselves to have that time to be with ourselves and write about what we are thinking about, it puts things into perspective.
I often use my journal when I have a terrible day or repressed memories start to come out. My journal was gifted to me by a very good friend of mine on Christmas, and I loved it. I always feel like I have to limit myself when I vent with others. I feel the need to sugarcoat things or limit how vulnerable I am with them. Although they reassure me that they won’t judge me or think differently, I can’t help but be insecure. Talking about intense feelings and past trauma is very intimate and makes one feel like a naked mole-rat.
I write to others but sometimes to myself. I have to write to myself because I take that time to reflect and accept everything I have gone through. I carry a heavy emotional weight on my shoulders, and I have been told that I need to learn to forgive and let go. I have a hard time letting go because I feel like it wouldn’t be fair to forgive those that never asked for forgiveness. It took time to realize that I don’t need to forgive them to validate them, but I need to forgive myself for allowing them to weigh me down. The hurt that they have caused me has been weighing on me for a long time, and I needed to learn to let go of it.
When I write in my journal, I write everything that comes to mind disregarding the writing format or standards. I get to use whatever words that come to mind mixing Spanish and English and any swear words. I get to speak my mind freely and unfiltered. It feels liberating and therapeutic to be one with your mind, feelings, and, most importantly yourself. Writing to your past self is like writing to an old friend you are catching up with through snail mail. You don’t have to have the same considerations you have with your friends when you vent with yourself. A journal gives you a physical sense of a safe space to be vulnerable.
Having a journal can be like writing your own book. You get to document everything and look back at your previous letters as if they were chapters. That’s really what life experiences are; they are chapters in your life that make for your story’s plot. Your story should be heard, even if it’s only you that listens to it. You need to hear that you are an extraordinary human being who does not surrender regardless of what life throws your way. Your feelings and thoughts deserve to be written and acknowledged for what it is, the story of your own life.