Journaling Benefits Me: If You Don’t Like It Don’t Read It!

 

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Yesterday’s post, It’s Simple yet so Hard, got an overwhelming 226 views in one day! I have figured out that you are not interested in my educational posts nearly as much as your interested in reading the personal, heart-felt, true accounts of my life. This is hard for me. I have never been good at expressing my deepest thoughts with others. In addition to all of the traffic that my blog received the past two days, my personal life has also received a lot of traffic. It began when I woke up to my father pounding on my door. My mom had read the blog post to him and to say he was angry is an understatement. Before he left, he let me know that if Malachi (my son) is old enough to see his dad then he’s old enough to know exactly how he feels about his dad. My father also let me know that posting personal things online is not something he approves of. When asked what he thought of my Can a Racist be a Christian  post his response was “It was alright.” Not too much later I received a text message with no kind words from my mom.

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After my dad left, I went on Facebook. I was shocked by all of the extremely supportive comments along with personal messages from strangers, acquaintances, and friends. It really was encouraging to know that I am not completely crazy because I’m considering allowing this relationship between my son and his biodad take place. There was also a not-so-encouraging private message from my husband’s ex-wife. Because of all the attention to my blog she must have decided to read it too.  But she found Woes of a Lonely Step Mom. Although I don’t think I’ve written anything to slander her, I received a quite lengthy message telling me many things she disagrees with. She also sent my husband messages telling him he shouldn’t allow this blog, that I’m obviously unhappy, and the only reason he isn’t divorcing me is because he’s afraid. My husband came home from work early also stressed out. I later went for a drive and spoke to a friend for quite a while. As she explained her life story to me and how it affected her, I decided that I am making the right choice for my son no matter what my family thinks.

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What I learned from my last post is that there really are supportive people out there, I am doing the right thing, and people in my life are very unhappy with this blog like they are with almost everything else I do.  What I want to make clear is that I will be pursuing this whether you agree or not. As I said before, expressing myself to others has always been extremely difficult for me. Expressing myself, however, is not so much. I have always kept journals. Always. The first one I found was from 2nd grade. I have one right now on my night stand. I pulled the tote out today to look through them for inspiration for a new blog. I ended up looking through them for a few hours. This tote has been the one  and only item that has travelled with me to my 8 residences in 3 different states. It is my life. I have documents of everything that has occurred in my life. Some of which I don’t even remember. Will Self said, “The short-term memory only retains information for 3 minutes; unless it’s committed to paper you can lose an idea forever.” I have always enjoyed writing. It was very cool looking back at these and seeing things I’ve overcome and especially how much I’ve grown. Also, in most of them I have included a list of goals. I am absolutely amazed that I have met most of them! I still can’t believe that.

A psychological professor at Dominican University in CA, Gail Matthews, did a study on goal-setting with 267 participants. She concluded that people are 42% more likely to achieve their goals simply by writing them down! Wow. I have personally learned that every single dream you have or goal you set will encounter resistance. People have something to say about everything. You need to stay focused on the goal and not the resistance. Whatever you feed will grow. Writing your goals down can help you to feed the goal not the resistance.

There are many, many benefits to journaling (and blogging). Some of my favorites are as follows:

  • It enables you to celebrate your progress
  • Writing requires you to think out the “why’s” and “hows” so you naturally think on a deeper level
  • Proves we’ve solved problems in the past
  • We naturally articulate the next steps since it’s difficult to look back without looking forward. When we journal we’re forced to look forward so the next step becomes easier to see
  • Provides accountability
  • A written account allows your story to inspire others
  • Facilitates personal growth
  • Helps create better leaders
  • Forces your creative juices to flow
  • Improves mental well-being
  • Diminishes symptoms pop depression, anxiety, and other mental illnesses
  • Strengthens your immune system
  • Some studies even show it can improve your IQ

Looking through these journals has also reminded me of the fact that I have supportive friends out there. People do love me. I have grown. I have overcome a lot. I probably do have something to offer this world through my experiences. I found this letter I received when I was 15 after I tried to kill myself. I think I know who wrote it but that person, for some reason, has always denied writing it. This letter has encouraged me for years. There’s many more in addition to this one but a lot are too personal to post. If you ever write me a letter, I will have it forever.

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Writing a blog and/or a book has been a lifetime goal for me. I’m not sure I have anything valid to offer my readers but because it’s a goal, I am doing it. I have loved doing it. I will continue to be open and honest. Even though yesterday I was extremely discouraged and felt like quitting I view this as everything else in my life. This is something that is important to me and from this day forward, I will be doing what’s best for me in my life and what God asks. From this day forward, you can give me your opinion but I will ultimately be listening to my heart. I am strong. I am capable. I am able to make my own decisions and do what’s best for my life. I am not that unstable little girl anymore. Either you will accept me or you won’t. But I will not be changing me so that you can be happy. I have set up my little office. I plan to spend more time in here. Thanks for reading.

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  1. Why You Should Keep a Journal
  2. 100 Benefits of Journaling
  3. 10 Surprising Benefits from Keeping a Journal
  4. Emotional and Physical Health Benefits of Expressive Writing
  5. The Pocket Notebooks of 20 Famous Men
  6. Why Journaling Makes Better Leaders
  7. The 20 Biggest Benefits of Blogging
  8. Why Do People Blog? Benefits of Blogging

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