I was recently introduced to a technique used by first responders in which they document bruising or other visible injuries. They do this by circling the wounds to define its edges. This allows them to see if the wound is growing or shrinking overtime. This really made me think of how we monitor our personal growth. If I were to simply assess where I am mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually at this exact moment I am not sure that I would say I am at a high performance level. However, if I am able to look back and see where I was 5 years ago I could say without a shadow of a doubt that I have healed exponentially. It makes me think of journaling as a way to define the edges. I can look back and see wounds from the past. By having that documentation I can see that those wounds have shrunk significantly.
I used to think of journaling as a release of energy. Things that were trapped in the mind, body, and soul that needed a release. Once those feelings and thoughts were transferred to paper, the work was done. I still believe this to be true, however, I now I know that there is a next step. To go back and read the those feelings and thoughts. This was introduced to me by a hypnotherapist that I had the pleasure of working with. She explained that reading past journal entries is reading from the perspective of a third party called the observer. It’s almost like reading over the shoulder of yourself. Listen to our podcast episode in which we talk to Melissa Boyas, the hypnotherapist I mentioned. You can also find the episode on Spotify by searching Intentionally Lola, episode 10 Getting to Know Melissa Boyas.
Being the observer allows you to monitor your growth. This is the only healthy comparison that exists. We tend to compare ourselves to (our perception) of others… I say perception because how things look on the outside are not always as they seem. Comparison is so incredibly healthy, except for in one particular area- when you are comparing your present self to your past self. Are you growing spiritually, mentally, and emotionally? Have you healed wounds from your past? Are those wounds shrinking or growing? Knowing the answers to these questions is crucial to living a full life and mastering the human experience. If you have not journaled, it’s a great time to start. In the meantime, it’s great to use pictures or other triggers from your past to monitor your growth. Even the use of Facebook memories is almost like a journal. Maybe not as detailed and vulnerable, but it will likely trigger a memory from that time in your life that can used to define the edges.
Begin defining your edges… Often times, it’s the only way to even realize that you’re moving in the right direction!! Celebrate your growth- it’s what keeps you moving forward in trying times.