There are times in life when things just aren’t rosy, and denial of this only brings more frustration and resistance to what we are living in the moment. Journaling has helped me process the difficult times and rejoice in the good times.

My journal has always been that friend I could tell everything to, even when the words I needed to express were filled with anger and confusion. The exercise of sitting down to write about something upsetting feels responsible — a far better option than dumping my misgivings on another person, or acting rashly out of anger and sorrow.

I treasure the confidence of my journal. There is never any need to ask the other party to hold my message privately; the message is between me and me. I can gracefully write across the page in happy times, and claw the page in desperate times. No one is there to observe how I show up in that moment, it is mine to work out. There is something quite sweet about archiving life in this way.

I have been journaling since I was 13 years old and have had the chance to look back on my young self in the most intimate times of my life. This is an incredible privilege. I have achieved an outstanding awareness through my journals that, in essentials, that 13-year-old-girl is not so different from the 57-year-old woman I am today. That astonishes me.

Journaling is a treasured practiced in my life. It has offered me the chance to reflect, celebrate and heal. It slows the pace down in the same way meditation does, by making me present to the moment before me. There is a message I send myself each time I sit down to write that trumpets, “You are worth this precious time. I am here to listen.”

It’s occurred to me that to live a happy life, we need to find healthy pathways to release our emotions.

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