I recently wrote an article about writing through fear. I’m good at telling others how to use writing for their own healing and self-discovery but as the saying goes, “Physician, heal thyself.” I realized there are issues I have resisted for years. I’ve tried to write from a deeper place to find healing but always given into the discomfort and never pushed through it. I wouldn’t allow myself to write because I was afraid of the truth I might write down. Then I would have to come to terms with it. Much easier to be unhappy than faced with an ugly truth.
So last night I confronted my own fears head on. And it wasn’t much fun.
At first I didn’t want to get started. I wrote, “I DO NOT want to be doing this. I’d rather be watching TV.” I wrote words to that effect until I was past the initial block. “I am afraid… of what? I am afraid of…. yes, what?” And so I went on having a conversation with myself. My one side stuttered and faltered over how to express what was going on while the other side kept asking questions to encourage me to keep writing. I allowed words to pop into my head even if they didn’t appear to make sense and I wrote them down. Eventually I wrote my own truth – for six pages. I didn’t like it much.
Then I got this urge – that’s the only way I can describe it – this idea popped into my head and it became a need to pick up a different colored pen and write over what I had just written. At first I thought, well, that’s just silly and wouldn’t be denying what I just wrote? But then I did it. I even flipped my journal upside down and wrote a new truth over the old one. I literally turned my past on its head and wrote my future over it.
It was powerful to see my positive, forward looking words (in bright pink ink) obliterating the fears written beneath (in dull brown). I said, “This very moment is my future and the past is no more. I have the power to re-write my own story. I choose my future and I choose happiness.
It might seem silly that just turning my journal upside down and essentially making a big unreadable mess on the page would have any effect on my thinking but it was symbolic and it seemed to work. I felt lighter and empowered. I really felt like I could re-write my own story and leave the past behind right where it belongs.
Prompt: Write, “I’m afraid…” until you are so sick of your own whining that you have to stop. Then flip the book upside down and write over your fears, “The truth is…
(A more instructional version of this post can be found here.)
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