Some of you will ‘get’ this dark and twisty reference right away. It’s from Dr. Meredith Grey (played by Ellen Pompeo) from the amazingly popular, Grey’s Anatomy. In the show, Meredith spent much of her life trying to avoid the dark and twisty, the shadowy side of her life, where there is pain and darkness. But over the many years, the television show has been on, she has had incredible moments of insight. Just like us regular folk, despite her fear, she is changing and growing.
"After careful consideration and many sleepless nights, here's what I've decided. We move on, we move out, we move away from our families and form our own. But the basic insecurities, the basic fears and all those old wounds just grow up with us. And just when we think life and circumstance have forced us truly to become an adult, your mother says something like that. Or worse, something like that. We get bigger, we get taller, we get older. But, for the most part, we're still a bunch of kids, running around the playground, trying desperately to fit in." — Meredith Grey
YOUR HEART WILL ONLY TELL YOU WHAT YOU’RE READY TO KNOW
One of the loveliest things about writing from the heart journaling is that it’s not really about writing; it’s about quieting your mind enough to hear what your heart needs to tell you. Unlike your inner critic that hurls abuse at every move you make, your heart is gentle and loving, not matter what. It will never give you more than you can handle. You can trust it.
But, “you” may not trust “yourself”. Please try...
"Knowing is better than wondering, sleeping is better than waking, and even the biggest failure, even the worst, beats the hell out of never trying." — Meredith Grey
THE GENTLE SPIRAL, WHERE WORDS FLOW
I’ve always loved the shape of the spiral and how it takes its time getting to the center. We start at the top, chattering away at ourselves, clearing away the words so that we can get through clutter to truth.
Asking, “What do I mean by…?” helps.
The slope is gentle, the spiral is wide. Soon we connect to our hearts, to the voice of knowing inside of us and we begin to hear questions that lead us deeper. We may feel a bit of fear, but we know we are getting somewhere, so we keep going. The slope is still gentle but the spiral turns are more pronounced. We’re on a path that is leading us inexorably to the core of our fear or answers.
"Sometimes it's good to be scared. It means you have something to lose." — Meredith Grey
To dig deep and find the answers within, we have to let go of the thinking part of our brains because using the rational part of our brain only leads to self-criticism.
Remembering can sometimes be an act of bravery. Digging in the dark releases a great deal of negative energy and your journal is a safe place for you to put the darkness. Bringing hurt and shame to the surface where the light touches it makes these memories sizzle then burst into flame. The more times you circle around the memory and write about it, the looser its grip of hurt becomes.
I think the opposite can be said about the happy memories or the touching memories. These stories become more epic, and more meaningful the more times we tell them. It doesn’t matter if you embellish the memory. Remember, these are your stories and all the great ones are big and full and larger than life. Don’t hold back.
"Vulnerability isn't the opposite of strength. It's a necessary part. You have to force yourselves to open up, to expose ourselves, to offer everything we have and just pray that it's good enough. Otherwise, we'll never succeed." — Meredith Grey
LET GO OF CONTROL
Control leads nowhere. Lose control. Let that voice you muted long, long ago, speak. Embrace whatever comes up; examine it from a different perspective, listen to it, record what you hear.
No one has ever died from writing in her journal what is hidden or dangerous. You might cry or laugh, or get so angry you want to scream, but you won’t die. Write it all down. Write for as long as it takes to finally feel empty and calm. Your journal is safe. It can take it. So can you.
Worry later about your fears: what everyone will think. Just get it on the page. You have the right to write what you need to say. You will never get anywhere if you censor your life in the one place that you can be your absolute authentic self.
“If there's just one piece of advice I can give you, it's this -- when there's something you really want, fight for it, don't give up no matter how hopeless it seems. And when you've lost hope, ask yourself if 10 years from now, you're gonna wish you gave it just one more shot because the best things in life, they don't come free." — Meredith Grey
HEART-BASED JOURNALING IS NOT ABOUT BEING A WRITER — AT ALL
What I’m asking you to do is listen. Your heart (or more correctly, your soul) knows all and has all the answers you seek. But since we were babies we were taught to look for external answers and approval — from our parents and caregivers, teachers, books, experts, courses — the list goes on and on. So, we second-guess our hearts constantly. And yet, we are magnificent, perfect creatures who only need to follow this wisdom to be truly happy. We simply don't believe enough in ourselves.
The path to healing lies before us, but it's filled with too many twists to count and a lot of debris along the way. To heal ourselves, all we need to do to hear the wisdom of our hearts is to listen closely, take good notes and trust what our hearts have to say.
Journaling, as I intend it, is a healing journey. I firmly believe that when we let go of fear, light takes its place, fills us up, and nourishes us with love. Then, our healing love light beams out from us to touch the hearts of everyone we meet. This is how we can change the world.
"Just when we think we've figured things out, the Universe throws us a curveball, so we have to improvise. We find happiness in unexpected places. We find our way back to the things that matter most. The Universe is funny that way. Sometimes it just has a way of making sure we wind up exactly where we belong." — Meredith Grey
YOUR PERSPECTIVE’S GONNA CHANGE
One of the things I love about journaling from the heart is the perspective I have now that I when I had the experience (often because I was a child). I find myself looking at both happy and haunting memories with different eyes because now. I am able to empathize with the little girl or woman I was at the time — even with others that hurt me.
Let go of the “stories” of your life that have held you back — by shifting perspective. Maybe now that you're an adult you understand how it feels to be a parent who is stressed and tired, or unhappy in her life, not to mention how easy it is to shut a child down or say, "because I said so," instead of taking the time to stop and help her through a difficult moment.
Our stories impact our lives. They shape us. They define who we are. But our stories of what happened in the past do not have to define who we are now. We always have a choice.
“So do it. Decide. Is this the life you want to live? Is this the person you want to love? Is this the best you can be? Can you be stronger? Kinder? More compassionate? Decide. Breathe in. Breathe out and decide.” — Meredith Grey
YOUR SUCCESS EQUATION: ME + YOU + A LOT OF WRITING = CLARITY
I know journal writing heals, because I, and a lot of my students, have made lasting changes and found clarity and answers in our lives — all through journaling. Many students tell me that the gentle, loving way I deliver each lesson is comforting and gives them the courage to write. I want that for you too.
BUST OUT OF YOUR FEAR BOX! SMALL GROUP, LIVE COACHING
For the first time, I’m offering a live interactive version of my new course, Bust Out of Your Fear Box. I’ll coach you in an intimate group I call The Cocoon of Love, through each of the eight lessons in the course. I want to keep these groups small so I can hold space for each of you and provide individual attention. A live course also allows me to customize the content to the needs of the group. And of course, if you can’t make a class, you can always pick it up in the video replay that will be yours to keep.
I’ll be with you all the way.
Click the button below to sign-up and make sure you're notified as soon as the doors to Bust Out of Your Fear Box! open. I'll also notify you about a special live, interactive Writing From the Heart webinar I've created to inspire you.
kathy mercure is a storyhealer, storylistener, and storyteller. Her life’s work is to gently draw stories from her students and help them unblock their writing, find their voice, and heal their lives. Her passion is to support women and men in realizing their true identity as a valued human being, claiming their passions, and speaking their truth as they become their most authentic selves. (Photo by EagleSpirit Soul Shots)