There are many things I could talk about this month, and maybe I might have time to do another post later before the month is over, but there is one subject that jumped out at me to share. This topic is a reoccurring thing for me, and I feel the need to share and talk about it with others because it really is an important thing to know and understand. I want to talk about forgiveness—forgiveness to others, but most importantly, forgiveness to ourselves.
I used to shy away from that word—forgiveness. I never really understood why. Nowadays I understand all too clearly. I shied away because I couldn’t bring myself to forgive myself, or anyone else. This stemmed from a lack of compassion. My heart over time had become so full of all the wrongs in this world, I couldn’t conceive of trying to make anything right.
It’s easy to become overwhelmed if we were never taught how to combat overwhelming things. If we never learned the tools to move past the daily hurts and see the positive in every situation. If we never allowed ourselves to feel deep compassion for ourselves or for others, because that’s not how we are taught to interact in our society. When our hearts become closed and hardened, forgiveness becomes impossible.
I can’t speak for all people, but I can say that for me forgiveness has been the hardest lesson of all to learn. We typically learn from an early age that the blame always falls with someone else. And maybe at times this is the case. Maybe there are many people who have hurt us along the way, but I think in some ways we do invite this sort of hurt onto ourselves. Because deep down we are nursing something that needs to be brought to light, but are not able to do so for one reason or the other. We think we don’t deserve better, or we simply feel helpless to do anything about anything.
How do you say goodbye to a place you love? You know you can’t stay because leaving is the only way to make significant and positive change that is badly needed in every part of your life. How do you let go of all that you are leaving behind?
At the beginning of this year, my husband and I decided that our lives were not going in the direction we wanted. We were stuck. Stuck in our situation, and in our minds. We couldn’t move forward no matter what we tried. So after long soul-searching talks with one another, we decided our lives needed to go through a massive change if we ever wanted to have the kind of lives we really wanted. But we knew even then it would take massive work from both of us to make this a reality. We also had no idea how long it would take, which made for another daunting uncertainty.
One of the major changes we decided to make was to move, and not just a small move. An almost 1,000 mile move from one end of the country to the other. This also meant making a lot of other changes too. A lot of those changes had to happen inside of us. What was the point of making such a drastic relocation if all our problems followed us there?
Both my husband and I dedicated a lot of time to healing ourselves as well as our relationship. In fact, we became much stronger as a team after he relocated to Florida at the end of March. We had to communicate much more and rely on each other almost everyday to make sure everything didn’t fall apart.
It took major effort from both of us as we inched along to solve each problem that came our way… him getting and starting a new job, somewhere for him to stay while we looked for permanent housing for our family, deciding to buy or rent, then once we decided to buy we had to go through the whole house buying process, and then trying to get our son to be okay with letting go of the only home he ever knew to accept the new one.
The content in this journaling series is from what I shared with my recent in-person journaling class. My original idea was to try and create an online class, but ultimately decided to create a blog series in which to freely share this information.
I feel very passionate about journaling and the great tool it can be in helping to discover more about who we really are, but I find information on journaling is scattered over many places. Also, there’s a lot on bullet journaling (the most popular type of journaling right now), but there isn’t a focus on all the broad possibilities of journaling or why it is so important. I hope through this blog series I can address these things as well as express why I find journaling to be such a vital part of my life.
So let’s start with why I believe journaling is so important. The best way I can do that is to tell you how journaling has affected my life.
I didn’t always journal, and when I did start it was very infrequent. Maybe once a month or two and it remained this way for a while. Usually my journaling was just a dump of negative emotions and when I went back to read what I wrote, I’d become incredibly depressed. Because of this, I decided I didn’t want to write because I didn’t want to depress myself further. I thought “What’s the point?” “Life sucks and it’s nothing but a gaping raw wound. Why make it worse by spilling my crap on purpose?”