Better out than in….
It’s lesson three, I’m listening intently, excited to know what nuggets lie within. “This week we will be looking at morning pages. A process of writing adapted from Julia Cameron’s The Artists Way”.
Ping, that feels familiar, I’ve heard or maybe even read that book once upon a time. Oh crap, I don’t want to do this. I have a traumatic memory of having my teenage diary being found and read by the very subject of my rants. It was really painful. I don’t think I can do this again. I don’t want to make myself vulnerable like that ever again. My heart rate is rising, my hands feel like they’ve been dipped in oil, my throat has gone dry and I have this very strong urge to run away.
Erm, hang on, we are talking about writing three pages of whatever is going on in my head in that moment. Just writing, I can control what I write if it’s really that big a deal. I can find a way to do this and not expose myself. I can manipulate and change how I do this and no one will ever know.
And so, the avoidance dialogue continued.
What happened is clear to me now, I had a blocked emotion stuck in the recesses of my mind, one that I hadn’t fully processed. The present-day scenario, seemed to act like a magnet for this blocked emotion and a powerful draw and attachment ensued. The collective emotional experiences now bound with the present-day event become amplified to such an extent, my amygdala has a party and I’m wondering how quickly I can find my passport.
Then I asked myself a very powerful question:
What is the worst that can happen?
Summoning a whole lot of brave, I got out a notepad and pen and wrote down exactly that:
- Someone might read them
- Someone might judge me for the content
- Someone might be hurt by what I’ve written about them
- Someone might struggle to read my handwriting
Stop! I’m actually contemplating leaving the country because my handwriting is bloody awful?
That moment was transformative for me. I suddenly had a place to write all the craziness, all the disjointed snippets of thoughts and daydreams. Day on day, I poured, and I peeled, and I dug into the orchestra of my thoughts and day on day, they quietened, and I could hear them properly, process them with clarity and confidence and be at peace with them.
For they are just thoughts and I can control my reaction to them, I can use my amazing mind to process and learn from them and I can once again see all of the people who have been holding space for me, allowing me to grow into the woman I wanted to be, loving me and rallying me forward.
No longer the emotional rants of a traumatised teenager, I found my brave woman in there, she’s brilliant and funny and smart. I’d never have connected with her if I hadn’t been brave enough to explore that fear. I’d not have the knowledge that I have now that thoughts really cannot hurt you unless you let them. Sure, I’d heard it a million times before but until you face the fear, until you get brave about them, they remain a cliché and we know how easy it is to dismiss those.For what it’s worth, I’m a Morning Pages convert and I couldn’t give a moleskin notebook whether you can read my writing!