Go Ahead Write it Down!

September 14, 2010
 I think I must have been in the 4th grade when I began my “I’m sorry” letter writing practice.  “I’m sorry I kicked over the cabinet filled with china.”  (Oh yes I did!  It’s the only violent thing I’ve done in my entire life.)  “I’m sorry that I’m such a bratty daughter.”  You get the picture.  Most of the letters were addressed to my poor mother who, in retrospect, did most of the disciplining.  We had a loving but tumultuous relationship and I was the baby in the family who, although very shy, provided more than my fair share of the drama.  The letters helped me process a lot of the feelings thrashing around inside of me and I carried the practice well into my adult years.  Go Ahead Write it Down! Funny thing is, my mother would reciprocate with her own letters and it makes me wonder if we weren’t more alike than we realized.  She’s no longer on this earth but that doesn’t mean I can’t still write to her.

Whether we mail a letter or not, the very act of writing it can be incredibly cathartic.  It’s really nothing more than a form of journaling which is a powerful tool for processing physical, emotional and mental experiences.  These experiences are stored in our cellular memory and can remain lodged there until we are able to process the negative energy that they carry.  Unprocessed, they often lead to illness in our physical body.  Speaking our truth and writing it down is a great way to move this unwanted energy out of the body.

Today I asked a client if she was still journaling and as the words left my mouth I made a mental note to get back on track with my own writing.  It’s one of the things I love about being a health coach – I’m constantly reminded of good practices that will enrich my own life, as well as my clients’.  We are all works in progress!

If the thought of writing in a journal makes you squeamish for fear of someone reading it,  and you have no inclination to have your most intimate life details known (think Sylvia Plath or Anais Nin) then write it and toss it.  Better still, save a tree by typing on the computer and hitting the delete button.  Try to write every day (or several times a day when you need to) and this is one instance when editing is a no-no.  Stream of consciousness works best and you will be amazed at how light you feel after unburdening yourself of the guilt, the shame, the fear and the deep dark secrets.  Honesty is the only policy when it comes to journaling.  So go ahead – write it down!

  1. What a great post, Barbara!!! What a true statement. Writing is a great release, especially for those of us who are private and like to keep feelings inside. I love the fact that you would write to your Mom when you were little apologizing for destroying things…..I cannot imagine you kicking over a China cabinet! p.s. Cute picture!Love,Rachel

  2. Almost 50 years later and I still can't believe I kicked it over either! Talk about holding onto your thoughts/memories! At least I'm laughing about it now. Wish Bernie was here to talk about it. 🙂

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