• Wednesday, May 20th, 2009

Growing up in a chaotic home with a violent alcoholic father, Tammy had a difficult time making sense of life around her. She strove to not feel overwhelmed and confused on a continual basis. As a girl she felt very sad and alone, with no one to turn to. At the age of 10 Tammy began to write in a journal. Her journal provided a home for all the sadness and anxiety she held inside. Within her journal she found a place to give voice to what seemed like no one around her could hear.

Like Tammy, you too have a voice and you too have a story to tell. Decisions you make every day are influenced by the story you tell yourself about who you are and your life experiences. Most people are fairly unaware of the meaning they make of their own lives and how this causes them to react to what they experience. The less you know about who you are and what you believe, the less control you have over your life. Part of what I help people in therapy do is find their voice so they may make more deliberate decisions that reflect who they truly are and desire to be.

Journaling is a powerful and effective way to explore your deeper self. There are a number of benefits to journaling:

~Journaling can help you develop a more intimate relationship with yourself.

~Journaling  can help you understand your emotions and gives your feelings context & meaning.

~Journaling can help clarify the reality of your circumstances & events actually feel more real to you.

~Journaling  can help you identify what matters most to you.

~Journaling is a free alternative to other forms of self-care.

Below is a list journaling options you may use in your personal time:

~Letter Writing– You write to a person, place, or thing to which you have a
relationship. (This may include: yourself, a substance, an object, an emotion, a behavior, or whatever seems important to you).

~Memory Writing-this may include specialized time lines or narratives that help
you investigate & remember important life events.

~Transition Writing– While transitioning or suffering from a loss you can write
about the experience as you are feeling the effects of the loss as they are happening.

~Free Writing– Write whatever comes to your mind without judging yourself or
being concern about others judging you.

~Lists– Lists allow you to quickly identify and address important information that might otherwise be difficult to identify.

Making sense and meaning of your life is vital for living with intention. Whether or not you take the time to listen, your life experiences will guide you. When you actually take the time to tune in to a deeper understanding of yourself, you open the door to hear what your life is telling you, only then can you decide what you want your life to say. As you think about your life story now, what would you like it to say?

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