Thursday, August 28, 2008

Keep it Simple

My journal is a good friend whenever I am in the throes of an intense healing process. Over the years, I have filled over a hundred journals with words that searched the depths of my mind, heart, and soul. Recently, I've been filling up pages rapidly.

When we're working at a fast pace through old memories, changing old attitudes and claiming new beliefs it helps to keep our journal entries simple. Remember your journal is for your eyes only. Keeping yourself engaged in the process of growth is the crucial part.

Try these tips to simplify and stay in the flow of what the Holy Spirit is doing inside of you:

  1. Record a happening you want to reflect on with as few words as possible, so you can get to the processing part as quick as possible. For example, Argument with F might be the only heading you need to focus on the disagreement you and Francis had over how to organize the church potluck. Getting your internal reactions is far more important information under the heading than writing a precise description of everything that ensued concerning napkin colors, coffee brand, etc.
  2. Circle, underline, draw arrows to move around in your mind and on the page.
  3. Forget sentences if phrases will keep you moving better. Feel free to use abbreviations and acronyms as well--you're processing not documenting.
  4. If referencing a book(s) you are using as a catalyst, put a code in parentheses after the first use. Thereafter, just use the code. For example The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss (CITH).
  5. Draw a line between entries made on the same day (instead of rewriting the date).
Be bold! Say exactly what you need to say in your private journal--for your own recovery from abuse. It's another step in honoring your needs and taking care of yourself. Healing is waiting between the covers of journals, especially when we pray as we write.

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Recommended Books

  • 10 Lifesaving Principles for Women in Difficult Marriages by Karla Downing
  • A Way of Hope by Leslie J. Barner
  • Angry Men and the Women Who Love Them by Paul Hegstrom
  • Battered But Not Broken by Patricia Riddle Gaddis
  • Boundaries by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend
  • Bradshaw on the Family by John Bradshaw
  • Caring Enough to Forgive/Not Forgive by David Augsburger
  • Codependent No More by Melody Beattie
  • Healing the Wounded Heart by Dr. Dan B. Allendar
  • Keeping the Faith: Questions and Answers for the Abused Woman by Marie M. Fortune
  • Perfect Daughters by Robert J. Ackerman, Ph.D.
  • Recovery: A Guide for Adult Children of Alcoholics by Herbert L. Gravitz and Julie D. Bowden
  • Safe People by Dr Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend
  • Slay Your Own Dragons by Nancy Good
  • The Cinderella Syndrome by Lee Ezell
  • The Dance of Anger by Harriet Goldhor Lerner, Ph.D.
  • The Search for Significance by Robert S. McGee
  • Turning Fear to Hope by Holly Wagner Green
  • When Violence Comes Home: Help for Victims of Spouse Abuse by Tim Jackson and Jeff Olson
  • Why Does He Do That? by Lundy Bancroft