Today’s blog explores journaling as a spiritual practice and what can happen when we let our body speak.
Journaling as a Spiritual Practice
When people ask me when I knew I was a writer, I have to scratch my head in confusion. When was I never NOT a writer would perhaps be a better question. I don’t think I have never NOT been a writer, and my writing passion and gift began to emerge more and more fully the more I gave myself over to the spiritual practice of journaling. I was first invited to practice journaling in a high school Theology class ( I attended Catholic schools) and when in the Pastoral Ministry training program, journaling was one of the requirments of supervision. I came to discover that God spoke to me most loudly and most plainly through my pen….and so I wrote, I wrote and I wrote: scripture reflections, ponderings, etc. I did the majority of my personal, inner processing through my pen and when things were really bad, poetry bled forth onto my page in shades of deep indigo (I ONLY write in blue ink….specifically Papermate medium point). I have discovered guidance, comfort, healing and insight through my pen. As such, journaling is an important part of my daily spiritual practice. (For more on journaling as a spiritual practice, check out Spiritual Journaling by Julie Tallard Johnson.)
Yesterday, in search of some spiritual and creative inspiration, I turned to The I-Ching for Writers by Sarah Jane Sloane. I flipped through the pages to find my “reading” for the day and received this writing prompt: Write a one-page monologue as spoken to you by the part of your body that hurts. I asked my body, “Ok, who wants to speak today?” My heart quickly stepped forward, “I am hurting and I would like to speak.” “Darn it!” I thought. “I am sick to death of hearing from my mangled and beaten heart.” I sighed in resignation and handed over my pen….and boy am I glad I did. Yesterday, this is what my heart had to say:
When the Heart Speaks:
Yes Lauri, I am hurting and bruised; but I am not broken. I’m really more resilient than you give me credit for. Do you think I’m really going to be shattered beyond repair for the reasons you think I might be? Not hardly! In truth, it is your ego that is hurting, not your heart. I am strong beyond imagining…..which means you are strong beyond imagining. Keep in mind that “heart” is the root of your word, “courage” and you my dear, are courageous beyond compare BECAUSE you are strong of heart. This is how God made you because God foresaw the life that would unfold before you and the courage you would need to persevere. It requires great courage to move through the challenges that have been placed before you and to lead the charge toward mental, emotional and spiritual freedom. It takes enormous courage to leave behind what one knows, to turn the finger of blame into self-awareness and accountability and to name and claim not only woundedness and fear but to identify ones gifts and boldly share them in the world. But more than all of this, it takes enourmous courage to love – and this you have done well. You have loved generously, freely, without condition while still maintaining appropriate boundaries and remaining true to yourself. I am not broken, weakened or blocked. I will not fail you or betray you for in you I am strong and with every courageous act, I become stronger. Too strong to be brought down by disappointment. Too strong to be destroyed by misplaced blame. Too strong to be intimidated by another’s unclaimed and projected fears. I am strong in you because you are strong and in this there is nothing to fear.
How might journaling be a helpful practice in your own spiritual journey?
What part of you is hurting and might like to speak through your pen?
What would your heart have to say to you today?
Authentic Freedom Ministries