Why Write? Emotional Healing 5

A HEALTHY PHYSICAL PROCESS means that we take in food and water from our environment, process it for nutrients, then expel the wastes. In the same way, a healthy emotional process means that we take in our life experiences, process them for nutrients, find what we need to grow and survive, and then expel the garbage. But many of us simply hold onto our emotions, storing them away in our bodies, and we become emotionally constipated, unable to let go of that which isn’t helping us in any way. Eventually, when our system gets too backed up, we get sick. We can no longer function as we should. We become sluggish, unresponsive, depressed.

wpid-EmotionComposite1_400x602-2010-06-8-00-10.jpgKeeping the flow of our experiences processed helps to keep us emotionally healthy. Writing regularly is one way of accomplishing this. For example, I once wrote a three-page angry diatribe to my ex-husband telling him everything I hated about him. I really told him off! I was able to say everything I needed and wanted to say, no matter how ugly, cruel, or unfair, because I knew it would stay in my journal. I didn’t have to censor myself in any way. Afterwards, I felt calm, relieved, and able to think about him with a more balanced perspective.

Writing about past events works the same way. The process of exploring emotions associated with events and people in our past can be like cleansing and disinfecting a wound that refuses to heal. Yes, it can be a little painful, but afterwards the wound is clean; the clogged emotional state that kept the wound active has been bathed and soothed and has a better chance of healing properly.

It’s important, whenever you’re writing for emotional healing, to write as honestly as possible. Writing honestly and vulnerably connects you to yourself, like looking in a mirror helps you to understand your own facial expressions, or listening to a recording of your voice helps you understand how your vocal inflections might be heard by others. Writing about difficult or hurtful experiences — describing the events, recreating the conversations, the pain, the emotion, and acknowledging the emotion that still exists in you while you’re writing — can help you to heal. Writing about these events, whether they occurred years ago or this morning, allows you to move through, process, keep what you need to grow, and release unhelpful thoughts and feelings.

Something to write about: Think about something that happened in the past that still brings a surge of emotion when you remember it—anger, joy, excitement, fear, whatever. Write about your feelings and what you would do, if anything, to change that event. If you want to, rewrite the event as if it actually happened differently. Now, how do you feel?

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5 thoughts on “Why Write? Emotional Healing

  • Molly

    These are wise and true words! Thank you for this. I’ve always found the creative process (personally, I’ve also used writing in the past for emotional healing as well as painting and creating other forms of visual art) to be the best road to healing for me. It gets all the darkness out, and tends to allow us to reflect on what we’re feeling, and that is the most powerful of processes. I was recently introduced to a book called “Streetwise Spirituality” by Carol Marleigh Kline, and found it contains some wonderful processes too for channeling and dealing with emotions that we might have held onto past their “expiration date”, lol. It’s specifically geared toward women, and offers life skills in order to change our feelings and our thoughts for true well being and enlightenment. I highly recommend it to anyone on a healing journey. Here’s the link – http://www.streetwisespirituality.org/

    Thanks again for these recommendations and your personal experience. I think it’s time for me to do some writing!

  • Amber Lea Starfire

    Molly, thanks for your comment. The book sounds interesting, and I’ll be sure to check it out. I love the analogy of holding onto emotions “past their expiration date.” 🙂 May you prosper on your writing and creative journey.

  • Meena

    I’m so glad that you guys seem to make better sense than most sites- and I’ve only just looked for less than a minute!
    Apart from the fact that you might be able to help me out with- assessment and then semblance of how much I write to trusted friends?
    Is that place where I’m just about ready to leave them alone and collate it all for a profoundly better sense and benefit for me. Initially.

    Good news is that I’ve a good memory and- inspite of my daydreaming childhood ways to
    ( talk with anyone) and tangent off ?!!
    Can be highly frustrating to many people.

    I’d definitely welcome any fruitful advice on how much this catharsis is ~ for a very long time?
    Helping me to ‘unload’ as you say?
    And definitely helps me to sleep, have much better dreams and work on the long old story of me.

    I’m not sure if it’s going to work. Happen.
    Be of any benefit to anyone other than myself at the right now?

    But let’s see!

    My darling good friends and family are all too aware of how swiftly I type and am able to pour my swerve slaloms?

    And then are patient enough to decipher what I’ve written down for their audience at that point?

    Really honestly hope that we can work together for mutual benefit.

    Kindest regards.