The Doctor Will See You Now
Finding insight and healing in writing
We can attend to our inner wounds through self-reflective writing.
The boy sat staring at the blank page in front him, while his fourth grade peers wrote with gusto.
One word came to mind as I took in the 9-year-old with gripped pencil in hand:
Writing as a Vehicle
The students were filling in their journals, writing about their family members. Kids were smiling as they wrote about their parents, siblings, and cousins. The giddiness in the room was palpable.
Writing about ourselves is a powerful vehicle for self-discovery.
Still, the 9-year-old-boy with the gripped pencil remained staring at the untouched page.
Me: You okay?
Student: I don’t know if my dad is a family member. My mom said, I can’t see my dad anymore and that he’s no longer my dad. So, do I include my dad?
Sometimes, the vehicle of writing brings some rough terrain.
Education is all about offering tools to empower. Writing is one of those foundational tools. Our world is literally built on words; it is the machinery that drives innovation and self-awareness.
The young student’s question offered an opportunity for him to self-reflect and find the answer within.
Me: That depends. What do you think? Do you think your father is still your father?
Me: Then that’s your answer.
Writing LightBulb Moments
Immediately I saw the boy’s eyes light up, his pencil no longer gripped with fear, but instead, moving with great energy in the no-longer empty journal.
When we lean into the painful questions through writing, sans judgement, aha moments abound.
Writing puts us in the driver’s seat of our life. It offers an opportunity for us to slow down and consider what we think, not what the cacophonous world at large says to think.
When we go within to write, we literally slow down our brain waves and decrease anxiety. Slowed down, we find space to explore problems from a greater creative perspective.
Writing as Therapy
The 9-year-old student was eager to share his family tree and some of their personality traits with the rest of the group. The once anxious face he carried was now emanating pure joy.
Writing offers us the opportunity to go within for counsel.
I never told the young student what to think of his father. The power to perceive his father as his father is his choice.
Writing allows us to take the reins of our perception.
It doesn’t matter whether we are 9 or 99 years old — our perceptions are ours alone.
Metacognition, the act of understanding one’s own thoughts and perceptions, only grows stronger with self-reflective writing.
When we write, we are no different than a radio dial, tuning into what we think about the world around us.
Writing as a Doctor
When we write reflectively, we are taking care of ourselves. We are nurturing our brain waves and self-esteem.
When we take the time to write reflectively, we are subconsciously sending a message to our psyche: what I think and how I feel matters.
Writing reflectively opens the door to the best doctor for you to visit with: your Highest Self. Stress hormones lower, sadness is articulated and addressed. Emotions — in all of their colors — are addressed. Self-compassion and self-awareness are cultivated.