When my marriage ended, I made a commitment to myself to learn as much as I could from the experience. Up to that point, I had kept a journal on and off, but journal writing had never been a regular practice in my life. As my marriage disintegrated, I began to write as though my life depended on it. Perhaps it did.
The earliest journal from that time overflows with grief and disbelief and fear. I wrote down all my worries, all my fears about how my boys and I would manage alone, all my confusion, all my pain. But even before my ex-husband moved out, I was ready to move on. I picked out a journal with a warm apricot colour, and decided it would be “a book of healing” for me. One of the first entries is a vision for my family:
“I want our home to be a loving, laughter-filled place filled with good energy and light. I want to be a happy, calm and energetic mother who takes time every day to give each of my children the love he needs…” When I read that now, I’m surprised by how focussed I was, how seemingly together, even though I was still reeling with sadness.
For the first year, I filled a new journal every three months. I wrote, sometimes for hours, every day. I filled those books with my sadness, with my worries and my questions, and somewhere along the way, I wrote my way through the darkest time into the light. In all that writing, I came to understand myself better and to understand the part I’d played in my marriage’s ending. Somewhere along the way, I forgave my ex-husband. Somewhere along the way, I crafted a hopeful and compelling vision for myself and my family. Somewhere along the way, I re-imagined myself and my life.
Though I don’t write as much now as I once did, journalling is an essential practice in my life, a practice that has shaped – and continues to shape – the woman I’m becoming. It is the practice in my life that has, more than any other, helped lead me closer to serene, divine awareness.