“Whoops, wait a sec, Jude! That’s not ChapStick it’s a glue stick!” I reached over one second too late as my twenty-month old son smeared purple glue all over his lips and face. I couldn’t help but laugh and only wish I had thought to take a picture of it.
And then I stopped and looked closely at Jude. A silly thought had popped into my head.
I imagined that the glue stick attained a new level of super strength and that it actually sealed his lips shut.
He wasn’t able to share his thoughts or ask for what he needed.
Okay, so not a happy thought.
But I know that what sometimes does happen is that while our lips aren’t literally sealed shut, we all experience times when we have thoughts that are really hard for us to talk about or share with others.
Getting support from others is critical for all of us. Friends, family, and people with like-minds are important for keeping us encouraged and moving forward.
Every once in awhile though, we aren’t ready to turn to our support network. Something comes up that might feel too big to say out loud. Too scary, too dark, or too personal.
When that happens a journal is a place that we can go to process what we are thinking and feeling.
And here’s the super cool thing about that.
When we keep big things locked inside, our body has a response. For some of us that response might be that our lips are glued shut. And our stomach hurts. We get tired. Our palms get sweaty. We have a stress response.
By using our journal to release the thoughts and feelings that we find difficult to discuss we create an opportunity to get rid of those stress responses. Writing in our journal can make the stomachache go away, help us to sleep better, and stop the sweaty palms.
We start to feel better. We heal. And we can move forward.
Sometimes we need that purple glue to lead us to our journal.