Whatever ails you or bugs you or blocks you, write about it. Getting it out is immediate therapy. Write in a journal and make this your secret book; nobody gets to read it without your permission (and don’t be in a hurry to give permission). When you keep your journal strictly private what you put down in these pages can be your everyday confessional, with the cleansing and release that can bring. It’s funny how when you start by recording your woes, something else comes into play that brings you up instead of down and can actually restore your sense of humor.
Writing about what burdens you helps release the pressure. It also helps you move towards a witness perspective from which you can view yourself in your current situation from a higher level. From up here, the lie of the land may look very different from when you are down in the muck and scrum. From this perspective, you may be able to see that a setback or disappointment, even a betrayal, offers you the opportunity to chart a new course that could lead to a better outcome or a better relationship.
When you see and state things as they are, you begin to change them. This is because the “observer effect”, famous in quantum mechanics, comes into play on the human level as well. The act of observation changes things. This is the teaching of the hexagram of the I Ching known as Inner Truth. To open your imagination to how far it can lead, read Philip K. Dick’s remarkable novel of parallel universes, The Man In the High Castle, in which the act of observation transforms the world.
Writing about what ails you is the first step in a process of expanding and renewing your life. The next step is to write your way through an unhappy situation to something better. Keep at this and you may find yourself developing the power to write from raw emotions – including grief and rage and even fear – instead of being bound to them. This will require you to make the creator’s choice: to harness and direct the primal energy of “bad” feelings, instead of simply venting or wailing or letting yourself be crushed. Energy is energy; once it is out, we have to do something with it. You start to make the right choice when you pick up a pen or put your fingers on a keyboard.
Part of this article is adapted from Active Dreaming: Journeying beyond Self-Limitation to a Life of Wild Freedom by Robert Moss. Published by New World Library.