Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Scribotherapy: Use Your Words

"Use your words," I have told my three sons since they were each toddlers. It was a way I had learned to soften their behavior toward each other, to get them to listen first before acting out. It was an alternative for them instead of using their fists or feet to make a point; a tool of a phrase employed to stop fights, tantrums, retaliation, or even just a day's end outburst of screaming or crying. But it wasn't until I used my own words about my life that I could see how profound that simple directive was.

Use your words to listen to what is inside of you.

Using your words is what I call scribotherapy. Like bibliotherapy, which is defined in Webster's Third International Dictionary as the "guidance in the solution of personal problems through directed reading," scribotherapy is a word and regimen I created and assign to the process of using words as a conduit to understanding and feeling relief from any life difficulty.

~taken from Writing to Save Your Life: How to Honor Your Story Through Journaling, by Michele Weldon

Do you journal? When do you feel most compelled to journal?

I usually only journal during the hard times of my life. If anyone ever found my journals and read them, they would think I was the most troubled, depressed and angry soul. But that is when I write. I practice scribotherapy.

A friend of mine is taking a three month leave of absence from her job to process some very tough occurrences in her life. She tells me that the Lord instructed her to write, to take time to grieve her losses through journaling. This will be the first time she has ever journaled.

The idea of joining the Lord in this process of journaling to find healing in our lives is an intriguing concept. I'm sure there are areas in your life that need attending to: losses, hard goodbyes, death, betrayal, disappointments, etc. I would love for you to start "using your words" to begin walking through the mire of tangled thoughts and emotions. As Michele Weldon instructed us: "Use your words to listen to what is inside of you."

Do you practice scribotherapy? As fellow writers, we'd love hear how it worked for you.

I look forward to reading what you write. ~Cindy Blomquist, WOTH Editor


Shilo said...

This resonates with me. So many times as I begin to write, I'm surprised by what pours out of my heart and I know it is just the Lord Christ speaking to me. He lends a clarity and energy that I feel at no other time.

Karin said...

I often find even the articles God impress on my heart to write are those things I'm working through. Often those stories never told or events not resolved.

So true, I love writing these things on my blog. Knowing God is in this process of sorting out the mix ups into lines and paragraphs to bless others.

KarenKTeachCamb said...

I'll be honest, that this post's title caught my attention. I'm a primary school teacher, and one of the things that is being worked on in our school is encouraging children to use their words as a first choice to resolve any conflict. Not easy for 7 to 9 year olds, but they are working on it.

As I read further, I felt so in touch with the content. I've also tended only to journal when I'm struggling and going through a tough time, although sometimes that journally is a way of reminding myself of all the good things God has given me as well.

Writing my blog at times becomes a form of "scribotherapy", since if helps me to reflect on issues, and to process them. I often find it easier to reflect on things by writing rather than by talking to someone. Maybe because it is less threatening? It definitely helps me clarify my thoughts.

I also hope that as I write, others may be encouraged or challenged by what I have written. I've long found it easier to write than talk, and writing is also a great way to have a focussed prayer time. My mind tends to wander less when I write my prayers, and I can pray for longer periods of time too!

I thank God He has given me the ability to write my thoughts to share them with those around me, as well as for personal reflection and communication with Him.

Wendy said...

Yes, me too! But I'm also aware that not everyone processes things by writing them.

Rebecca said...

I have come to understand that journaling and writing are healthy for me. When I don't do it, either something is wrong, or will be. As a mother of two very small children, I don't have a lot of opportunity right now, and that's okay. But I need to make time for it on occasion.

I have two journals. One for just writing and thinking, reflecting and praying--my "everyday" journal, if you will. The other is a larger notebook I pull out when I'm ready to really write. Usually a topic has been rolling around in my head, and I need some creative writing to get it worked out.

A few years ago, I witnessed some very tough things. I was left questioning almost everything I believed about the Lord. My pen dried up. I couldn't write. And for a long time I didn't know how to heal. Interestingly, I realized that I knew I was finally healing when the ink began to flow again.

Ellie said...

I write to heal, too. I also write my prayers at times, too. I'm working on that recently to heal from trauma.

Just never had a word for it before. :)

I still do better when I write and am heard - so perhaps not journaling alone but combining journaling with a mentor/penpal has been very helpful for me.


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