We make so many of our experiences in life physical. Often, we need to be able to touch, hold, see something to acknowledge or make them real. That said, it’s no wonder why so many of us suppress our emotions. We fail to honor them, acknowledge them and recognize them as real, because they are not tangible or visible. Emotions are a powerful driving force. Without them it becomes difficult for us to have varying experiences and feel the highs and lows of life. They are a normal part of our being and add a unique dimension to our life.
I’ve long recognized that suppressing and ignoring my emotions ALWAYS work against me. It’s like the very process of trying to ignore or invalidate them, causes them to grow as they seek my attention. One of the questions I get as I work with people who are skeptical about the therapeutic potential of writing is just how do they go about addressing the things they carry within – feeling, emotions, etc. My answer is always the same – if you can feel it, you can write about it. The simplicity of this generally blows folks away. I don’t know if it is because we’ve been conditioned to believe that anything that can improve our better our lives must come the hard way. It almost seems too simple for some. But when they do start to write, it’s like an avalanche of feelings and suppressed emotions emptied on paper.
In great part, I credit the existence of this site on the healing properties of writing. I found writing one day many years ago when I was in an abusive marriage. One day, at the hilt of my frustration and pain I grabbed a pen and a journal and emptied out the things I carried within – the pain, the secret shame, the things I did not feel I could trust to share with others. I’ve been writing ever since and experiencing the benefits of it. What I came to eventually learn is that we don’t just heal from prayer, therapy or even talking about the pain. We heal when we write. I’ve proven this in my life and countless others can attest to it. Over the past year I’ve read countless books and blogs on the therapeutic power or writing. One thing is certain, there’s something that happens when we pen our pain, fears, shame, insecurity and troubles in an authentic way. We gain perspective, clarity and solutions for moving forward and of course, an outlet.
When so many things have been buried for so long you may ask yourself just what do I address first. I always start with what comes immediately to mind or what you may be feeling at that time, in that moment. Ask yourself what am I feeling? Then write down what comes up, write them out until you feel like you’ve released it all. Write from a place of openness and honesty, after all your words are for your eyes only. Don’t worry about trivial things like handwriting and forget about spelling and writing mechanics, just write with the view of emptying out and addressing those things that weigh on your mind, those things you suppress, those things that keep you up at night. And don’t be surprised that if after you’ve done these things you feel physically lighter because oftentimes the things we carry deep within eventually weigh on us as physical weights do.
If you need a bit of hand holding with addressing your emotions or want to see how writing can improve your outlook and perspective on the things you’ve gone or maybe going through, check out my services or get in touch with me.
Carlana Charles is the visionary and editor-in-chief of FemmePowered. She is a womanist, writer, speaker, story midwife and facilitator of meaningful and engaging conversations. When she is not working in or on FemmePowered, she can be found resting, baking, reading or scribbling furiously in her journal whilst sipping wine or coffee, sometimes both at the same time. She is currently working on her first book and hopes to release it in September 2017.