Reflective Writing

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Viewpoint

I just read an article by Jill Carattini that I found very interesting. Maybe this can be an argument for journaling:
 

     “For the past decade, doctors and psychologists have been taking notice of the health benefits of reflective writing. They note that wrestling with words to put your deepest thoughts into writing can lift your mind from depression, uncover wisdom within your experiences, provide insight and foster self-awareness. Similarly, a recent news article discussed the benefits of confessional writing, where one is freed to ‘explore the depths of the emotional junkyard.’ While writing is no doubt a helpful way to sift through the junkyard, its effectiveness is perhaps dependent upon learning from reflection, not merely reveling in the messes.
     Writing is helpful because the eye of a writer seeks the transcendent – moments where the extraordinary is beheld in the ordinary, glimpses of clarity within the junkyard, the beauty of God in a godless world. When Jesus stooped over the crumbled girl at his feet and wrote something in the sand, the written word spoke more powerfully than the anger of the Pharisees and well beyond the sins of the prostitute. Writing is a tool with which we learn to see ourselves more clearly, a catalyst for which we can learn to see God.
     There is something about writing that can introduce us to ourselves and to the one in whose image we are made. Have you dared to utter the words at the center of your soul? What if God could use your own pen to probe the wounds of your life? In the intimate descriptions of life recorded in the Psalms, the writers of the Psalms express loneliness, joy, even frustration with God. ‘What gain is there in my destruction, in my going down into the pit? Will the dust praise you? Will it proclaim your faithfulness?’ (Psalm 30:9). Yet the psalmists walk away from their words with a clearer sense of reality. And, I would add, their words have been a source of encouragement to countless lives, pointing us to wisdom, to reality, to the God enthroned on high.
     As Jesus stood with the girl at his feet in the middle of a group armed with stones and hatred, the Word that brought life into existence and worked the heavens with his fingers, crouched down in the sand and with his finger changed a life. May that Word dwell richly in us such that own words bring us to a richer knowledge of ourselves and our God.”

 
In our generation, we have lost the art of reflection. It is through reflection that we are able to see ourselves more clearly and especially see our circumstances with God’s perspective. After so many years of counseling people, I have come to the realization that people who know how to reflect on their lives, are the people who can make some sense of their world.

The biggest enemies of reflection are busyness and entertainment. The first eliminates it and the second distracts us from it.

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