Writing As...Healing

Sunday, November 02, 2014

I've had a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad week.  As in, it could scarcely have been worse.  I experienced great loss in my family, which you can read about here.  There was a crisis back at my church home and my Christian family.  There has been conflict among people who I love and, finally, I was shocked by personal loss, too.

Whoever said "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me" must have not known what they were talking about because it couldn't be less true!  Words of affirmation may not be my love language, but cutting words stay with me for a long time.  I don’t easily forget them.  As a writer, I value the power of words so much that when they are used negatively, I am deeply wounded.

And honestly, I’m still hurting. 

But writing is solace.  Words can also be healing.  I'm an external processor, so it helps me to write about how I think or feel to process what I'm going through.  Writing about a difficult situation is often painful for me because seeing the words on the page makes it real and permanent.  But it's also a way to heal.  It is naturally restorative.  It helps us come to terms with what is going on.  It helps us overcome.  

For me, it is also a way of inviting people into my world.  I'm a natural introvert, so when I'm grieving and feeling alone (two things that have been a very real part of my life recently) it could be easy for me to isolate myself.  But through writing, I channel my thoughts in a way that help bring others in.  So if you're reading this, I thank you.  And thank you to everyone who has been there for me, cried with me, laughed with me, checked in and loved me — I am forever grateful.

Here are some things I've learned from this 
terrible, horrible, no good, very bad week:
1. Always surround yourself by those who believe in you, who defend you, who care about you.  As Mark Twain said, “Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions.  Small people will always do that, but the truly great make you believe like you, too, can become great.”
2. Know that nothing anyone says will ever truly define you. 

3. Find strength in knowing that someone's words only carry weight if you let them.  As Eleanor Roosevelt wisely put it, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”  So don’t give it!  

4. Be strong.  Stay tough.  Find joy.  But know that sometimes the stereotypes are there for a reason and that it’s okay to cry and sleep and watch Netflix with girlfriends because sometimes that’s just all you can manage.

This song has been my anthem recently and my hope is that it can be there for you, too:

Rise up again
Shake off the shadows
Unlock the doors
And let hope live once more
Cause up from the ashes
A fire is woken
Cause those who were broken,
Are becoming the chosen

So lift up your eyes
Cause we're not forgotten
And hope will lead us on...

May hope lead you on today and forever.


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  1. I'm really sorry to hear that. Always look to the Lord, as you do well, in these scenarios and stay strong!

  2. I am praying for you. Our Father is strong.

  3. How did I miss the post? Silly email subscription.
    Anyways, you're amazing, Ciera. How you choose to help others by writing about your experiences and difficulties, rather than hiding away. I continue to pray for you! :D

    Alexa S. Winters