Journal to dialog with healing

Today’s guest post is by author Mari L. McCarthy

In the process of healing from disease, we attend most keenly to the physical body, urging it with therapies, drugs, and other interventions to return to wholeness. But it’s important to attend as well to our mental, emotional, and spiritual selves with just as much focus and care.

It’s in the synthesis of our inner and outer selves that healing can most effectively take place. To force a physical cure without thought for the health of our inner being is to invite the return of disease, sooner or later.

How can we give our inner selves the care and feeding it needs? A very simple and eminently accessible way is to journal. Journaling is where we examine our life with the greatest intimacy. It is our chance to reflect and find resolution. It results in reconciliation of the inner and outer aspects of self.

Indeed your journal is your most sympathetic and intuitive ‘doctor.’

For far too long, we in the Western world have placed our entire wellbeing in the hands of medicine. While this has allowed for tremendous advances in the science of healing, it has eclipsed the art and soul of healing. Without the later, we’ve lost touch with our inner selves. Our bodies possess great wisdom in their own right, and we ignore these in-sights at our own peril.

By establishing a dialog with your inner being, you establish a true and powerful control over your process of healing. You create a relationship between your deepest desires and your physical body. You begin to understand the totality of your being, inside and out. You are able to gain a new perspective, one that reconciles all aspects of your awareness. Through journaling, you begin to comprehend who you are and how you got here.

Serious illness of any kind is terrifying. The mental repercussions of contracting a serious disease or suffering a debilitating accident can render the individual utterly helpless and depressed. And then, deprived of inner fortitude, the patient succumbs to the malady without defense.

But we do not have to sacrifice ourselves so completely. We can create a relationship with healing through journaling. Here are a few suggestions for such a process.

  • Set a regular schedule for journaling and stick to it. Remember that the times when you don’t feel like journaling are likely to be the times when you most need to do it, and you end up with the most powerful entries.
  • Journal in your own handwriting if at all possible. There’s something cathartic about handwriting that you can’t get through the keyboard. Do not worry if the writing’s messy or misspelled. Use the pen to emphasize your emotions and reactions, huge or teeny, dark or light, flowing or choppy, or whatever. And don’t ignore your urges to make little sketches or paste in objects or graphics at whim.
  • Talk to your disease, to your body, to your healing process. Go ahead and write out the dialog. What does your disease say? How do your heart and soul respond? Taking on the persona of your illness is scary but revealing, and ultimately curative.
  • Be sure to go back and re-read your entries now and then. While journaling is in itself rewarding, the crowning glory of the process is in seeing where you were back then, and how you are different now.

Mari L. McCarthy is an author and journaling therapy expert. Don’t forget to check out details below of how you can win a copy of Mari’s book Dark Chocolate for the Journaler’s Soul  – a collection of personal journaling stories to comfort and delight anyone who is interested in personal growth and healing.

Connect with Mari

Mari blogs at

Mari’s latest publication is Help for the Holidays: 7 Days of Journaling to Ho! Ho! Ho! (more details on Mari’s website Create Write Now).