What is journaling? By dictionary, it is:
a daily record, as of occurrences, experiences, or observations
For most of us, it can be a frequent record, if we will put a priority on it. I have had the experience of making more than one entry in a day, but who cares, really…
Why Should We Journal?
Among other benefits, it may very well help us to process occurrences in our lives, whether they be pleasant or painful. In the case of painful events, if we can “vent on paper,” that is, get our thoughts out in front of us where we can see them, a mysterious process is likely to take place. That process is catharsis.
Catharsis, again consulting Webster, is:
the purging of the emotions or relieving of emotional tensions, especially through certain kinds of art, as tragedy or music
Finding Your Passion, Finding Your Truth
My weapon of choice is music. Since I’m a songwriter, I vent through my music. This may not be very pleasant for the listener, but it’s good for me. The “tragedy” in the definition above brings to mind William Shakespeare, whose middle name was “Tragedy.” And some of his greatest written works, such as MacBeth and Julius Caesar, were tragedies.
Now then, some of your greatest written works may be tragedies, and they are waiting to be written. Your daily suffering and other observations are automatically valid, for in journaling, you are under no judgment and no obligation to expose these inner thoughts and feelings with any other human being. They are yours, for you, for catharsis works on you. It is the emptying process which, in a mysterious way, is the sister to brokenness, the key to repentance, as is noted in Psalm 50, verse 17:
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
A broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.
So get your thoughts out onto the page in front of you; let the purging process work on you, and don’t put a time limit on it. This is not a timed exercise. It is the pursuit of God.
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