I latch onto words. This has happened to me for most of my adult life. I grab hold of a word and either use it frequently in conversation or end up reflecting on it for awhile and relate it to my experiences. I think that’s why, when I started this blog last June, I decided that my blog entries would be single-word titles. I’m naming what I’m writing about. I’m getting to the heart of what my blessings and burdens are. Words like oak and stirring and joy and forward simmer inside of me. My writing helps me define my thoughts, own them, and name them.
At times, my thoughts take on an intensity. I can easily dream and get lost in reflecting on situations, which keeps me from being in the present and often just ends up being speculation or building up expectations of what is to come. My writing has allowed an outlet for those thoughts. It’s a place to unleash them and leave them. It’s a way of working through those thoughts, naming what they are, and letting them go when I click the ‘post’ button.
My writing process starts with simply throwing thoughts, statements, sentences on the page. It’s a stream of consciousness. It’s all very disjointed. I end up moving phrases together to form sentences, then shift those thoughts around to form paragraphs. What I noticed is that I always begin by writing everything in the third person. I use the word ‘you’, but as I polish, re-read, and fine-tune those sentences, I replace each ‘you’ with ‘I’ and it changes my perspective completely. I take on this state of ownership and vulnerability. I’m feeling these things. I’m naming them. I’m sharing them with the world. Just the tweak of a simple pronoun completely changes my perspective. It’s empowering and brings me great clarity.
I was telling a friend that after every post I write, I feel I have nothing left to reflect on. All of my energy went into wrestling with the words for that post and I am done. And yet, soon enough, I catch a word or an idea or something is weighing on my heart and I open up a new page and start putting those blessings and burdens on the screen. If I’m to experience a drought in my writing, it hasn’t happened yet. I could never have imagined when I started this blog that I would be in the place where I’m at now. I started this blog during a crisis period in my personal life. It was an outlet for me to make sense of what I was feeling. A way to see thoughts and feelings I didn’t understand and had a difficult time putting into words. Over the past few months, I’ve found the words to help me through those struggles and have recorded some joys along the way as well. I have discovered more about who I am, what I want, and what I don’t want in my life. I have uncovered hidden parts of myself that I was ignoring or didn’t even know were there.
My posts are my prayers on the page. I am communicating with God. He speaks to me through these words. I have felt more connected to Him, His plan, and His love for me than I have in a long time. I have grown tremendously in my faith and trust in His will for my life. I love the conversations my writing unlocks. If I didn’t share my journaling, if I didn’t risk and be vulnerable as I share my story with others, then I would miss out on those precious prayers and conversations. The most profound statements are often those that are the simplest. Epiphanies about frustrating situations manifest themselves into a concise word or phrase. Simplicity is power. Own it. Name it. Let it go. . .