I feel safe in God’s arms, and I shall always be able to stand on my own two feet, even when they are planted on the hardest soil of the harshest reality.
— Etty Hilesum
To process your grief, it is essential to express what your loss means to you. In the telling, you gather together your shattered parts into a whole. What you cannot say aloud to anyone, perhaps you are able to write. Writing helps you recover your ability to speak about unspeakable loss. A journal can become your safe place to let pain and anger emerge.
By acknowledging your deepest thoughts, you affirm what you are going through and develop a more compassionate understanding of yourself. As you sort through your feelings, you release concerns that hold you down and discover insights that grow your spirit, heal your heart, and transform your life. Putting words on paper not only validates your experience in black and white, but provides a record you can look back on someday with surprise and wonder at just how far you have come.
Even jotting down what you are thankful for can develop into a habit. In time, you notice there is usually something positive about each day. In expressing your thoughts and feelings, you are reminded that there are no easy answers or quick solutions. In the process, you gain appreciation for how your life is unfolding. You begin to see flickers of hope along the way and you are no longer afraid to embrace the moment in front of you.
Below are two samples to start you on your personal journal journey. You see, jotting down your thoughts doesn’t mean you must write every day. Choose a time that works for you and the topics of specific concern. Additional “Mini Journal” samples are found in Dare to Trust, Dare to Hope Again: Living With Losses of the Heart.
The garden must be prepared in the soul first or it will not flourish.
Tickle it with a hoe and it will laugh into a harvest.
— Old English Proverb