WELCOME TO A NEW WritingThroughLife SERIES about journaling into and through relationships!
From the beginning of our lives, relationships form and inform us. From our parents or caregivers, to siblings, extended family, friends, teachers, and lovers, every interaction leaves its mark on our development as human beings. Whether we were nurtured as children or left to our own devices, popular or bullied, we carry the affects of all those relationships — healing or wounding — with us as we grow.
And how we perceive these relationships, our reactions and responses, determine how we relate to ourselves and everyone we meet. And they have a great influence on how we see the world in general.
In order to understand the patterns in our past relationships and make positive changes for the future, it makes sense to explore and write more deeply about the significant relationships in our lives. Writing down your thoughts, reactions, and feelings is important to gain understanding and pave the way for creative change.
Journaling is a powerful way to identify the origins of and work through issues in your relationships. It can help you acknowledge your part in problematic interactions and see ways to improve how you relate to others.Writing down your thoughts, reactions, and feelings is important to pave the way for creative change. Click To Tweet
Imagine what it would be like to improve your relationships with everyone you know — your friends, family members, your boss, colleagues, and your partner. Imagine being able to forgive the hurts of the past and leverage those painful relationship experiences into healthier ways of relating with others.
Journaling can help you
- Express and clarify your feelings in a safe and private space
- Identify and reflect on relationship patterns in your life
- Explore solutions to relationship problems
- Acknowledge personal strengths and weaknesses
- Identify how past wounds have affected current relationships
- Help you reconnect with the best in others
- Express negative energy in a safe space
- Convert negative energy to positive energy
- See others’ perspectives and gain compassion for them
- Gain compassion for yourself
- Decide on a course of action and begin a healing journey
Your relationship journal is a great place to express and work out anger and upsetting or negative feelings — rather than taking them out on the person who triggered those feelings. Writing down your negative reactions or judgments instead of saying (or texting) them to another person may save you from arguments and later regret, as well as the need to apologize.
Your journal is the perfect listener: it never judges, yells at you, or expects anything of you. It only listens and then reflects back to you in a way that helps you see yourself more clearly.
Your journal is also a great place to gain perspective by writing down the positive aspects of each of the people in your life and your relationships with them. In this way, you remind yourself why you’re friends with them in the first place. Or why family matters.
Through journaling your relationship dreams and goals and actively analyzing your real-life relationships, you may realize a relationship is unhealthy. You can then make positive steps toward improving the relationship or gain the courage to leave.
In this series of posts, I will provide and guide you through journaling prompts designed to explore every relationship in your life, as well as how to use your relationship journal to transform your life.
Can journaling really do that? I believe so.
Grab a new notebook and stay tuned for the next article in Journaling Through Relationships, in which we will begin our exploration by writing about our relationships with those who have probably had the most affect on our lives — our families of origin.