I find as I commit to write more that writing is my healing. I never considered it in this way before. I thought that I’d start a blog because “I like to write,” and writing seemed like a useful tool to convey information in a way that gets my viewpoint across. Yet, I never considered that the mere flow of the words on a page, finding the exact right word that fits each second in time could be an exercise in healing.
You see a page is a blank field. There is nothing there in the beginning. The battle begins when the first word emerges. Was that what I wished to say? Is that exactly the right way to convey it? This battle often heats up when I have a plan in mind. When my analytical left brain thinks it knows what I’m supposed to say or supposed to write about, it somehow ends up jumbled up, not emerging exactly as planned.
And I fight it. I fight the very flow the page is inviting me into.
You see, I’m learning that each blank page and each moment in time seem to have a specific mandate. A specific thing is wanting to be said. And this specific thing may be very different from what I think I’m wanting to say. Perhaps this thing is emerging from my right brain, the intuitive, emotional side of myself, from which creativity seems to spring unbidden.
And then it’s the control I try to place upon this flow which tends to clamp down on the very goodness I’m trying to mine for. Human expectations can often place a whole host of additional problems upon things that were once good. For example, say you receive a perfectly beautiful pen set as a gift, just top of the line…if you were expecting colored pencils, then this pen set would seem second-rate to you, not living up to your expectations. However, who’s to say that the pen set wasn’t exactly what you were needing in the moment, leading you down a path you wouldn’t otherwise have created for yourself? Your pen set could be the doorway of creativity you had been asking for, yet you choose to ignore it simply because you didn’t plan for it.
How often do we do this? I must ask myself this. My planning side, my left brain has been strengthened, praised, and practiced for most of my life through elementary school, high school, college and then graduate school. How much more attention must I give it, I ask? Hasn’t it received enough already?
As each word slides from my brain out on to the page, I begin to recognize what actually wants to be said, rather than what I want to say.
It’s not my prerogative after all, these words that are forming. These words will cease to belong to me once I release them into the world. They will be read and digested and interpreted within another brain somewhere out there, likely yours as you read this, and then I can no longer claim ownership over what those words wish to convey since they will convey simply what is received.
And so as I contemplate how many pen sets I have received and thrown away in my lifetime, and how many words have wished to flow and I have clamped down on, I resolve to give more time and attention to that which wishes to be formed as opposed to sticking to the plan.
Plans make us feel safe, giving us the false sense that we know exactly where we are going and exactly what the outcome will be. Before long, however, we realize we’re creating from a constricted version of who we once were rather than who we have become. If we let life be the blank page that it really is, allowing colors and patterns to emerge in unexpected ways, before long the masterpiece we didn’t know existed finds its way into the world.
This is why each word for me weaves the tapestry of my own healing. Each word emerges as the perfect expression of the unknown that this journey holds for me. Each next word twists and turns, and sentences divert my paragraph in unexpected ways, mirroring my path of uncertainty as I get a little closer to my true self each day. Every time I censor, I acknowledge what could have been and move forward, and every time I allow flow, I feel my body heave a sign of relief as it touches the void to release that which wished to be freed.