What are your words hiding?

When you establish a regular journaling habit, and you have been at it for a while, you will start to notice something.

There will be certain words or phrases that are repeated, maybe unconsciously, throughout your entries.

You may even notice as you’re journaling that you’re repeating something you’ve already said that day, or a few days earlier. Or you may only notice when looking back through entries that you have a habit of repeating certain words or phrases.

When I’m journaling, words that come up time and time again are exhausted, fear, creative, inspired.

I almost always realise when I’m writing ‘I’m just so exhausted’ again, but I didn’t realise quite how much I used this word. Looking back through past journals, it’s in almost every second entry. I also tend to use ‘creative’ and ‘inspired’ in most entries – which is hopefully a little more positive than ‘exhausted’!

Our tics are a road map to our most hidden and sensitive wounds.

Shapiro says, ‘If we are interested in delving deeply, if we are students of the observed life, we’d best take a good hard look at these easy fallbacks. Repeated words. Familiar phrases. Consider them clues. When you discover them, slow down. In fact, stop. Become willing to press against the bruise – it’s there anyway – and see what it yields.’

That makes me wonder, why do I feel the need to constantly state that I’m exhausted in my journal entries? Is it because I am usually journaling first thing in the morning (6am) when I haven’t quite woken up and, quite literally, feel tired? Or is it easy to use a blanket term like ‘exhaustion’ to cover all the different negative emotions I feel – particularly in my job – like boredom, apathy, frustration or anger?

When my life isn’t going how I want it to go it’s easy to say I feel exhausted. But I think in many cases if I were to look closer, there would be more to it than that.

It’s not until I can be truly honest and confront these difficult emotions that I will make progress. The next time I go to write ‘I’m just so exhausted…’ I will pause and ask myself, is that what I am really feeling?

Have a look back through any journals you have and see if there are any patterns – any phrases or words that you tend to repeat. What might they be covering? Press against the bruise.


3 thoughts on “What are your words hiding?”

  1. Odd about your writing ‘exhausted’ a lot. Hmmm….One thing I’ve noticed is my drawing emoticons at the end of just about every sentence! If someone read my journal, they’d probably think me a 14-year-old instead of nearly 24-year-old. Ha! But really, I do tend to write like that I guess because I sometimes miss not being able to be a teenager since I was sick during my teen years. I’m usually bubbly and happy-ish while writing, and for some reason, never like to write negative things. It’s like I’m pushing those things away from myself, even in writing.

    ….I’m hiding from my emotions even in my journal. Wow, Jen, you’ve caused me to realize some things! Thanks! And to think, awhile ago I thought of learning about my chakras, one each for seven weeks, and today I’m starting with the root chakra, which deals with security and survival. Ha! Wow! I think I love your blog even more than I thought. Keep writing and posting things like this. 🙂 (had to add a smiley)



    1. Hi Merry,
      I think if you like to put emoticons in your journaling then do it! I use a lot of washi tape and stamps in my journal, so I know what it’s like to want to be playful. Makes it all the more fun! As for the negative things – I’m quite the same. Sometimes I will find myself feeling like I’ve not got much to say in my journal, then I realise that I do have a lot to say, but it’s negative and for some reason I feel like I can’t put it in there! I think it comes back to being open and listening to yourself carefully. But it does take a bit of courage to be able to face these negative emotions sometimes. Hopefully your journal feels like a safe space to do that! Glad I could help, thanks so much for your kind words! 😀


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s