|Writing Our Own Story|
When I was a minister we had a youth outreach that was not very well liked by members of the community. Why? We reached out to the kids that needed help as opposed to youth group kids.
When I learned that there were prayer groups dedicated to stopping our march of unconditional love, my give a damn of other people's opinions broke. We would often have guest speakers over. It is amazing how many artists, poets and even known young adult fiction writers came in and out of Lockport, Il without anyone knowing.
One night I pushed the envelope even for me and had Jade Bryce come to speak with and meet the kids. Jade Bryce is a well known MMA ring girl and a playboy model. More than that, she was once a homeless teen and at the time, she gave 20% of every paid modeling job to charities like Invisible Children. She traveled without escort to third world countries in an effort to protect little ones whom she had a heart for. This was too beautiful a person not to have inspire the teens.
She came to us fresh from a shoot in the city. While she spoke she showed the teens her dog eared journal and how she used it. Her writing was artistic. The words would create patterns like spirals or steps and other designs. She also had tabs of her own design. She would use the tabs as a guide. The example she used was if her heart was broken and she had no idea how she would get through it, she would reference the last time she had endured a heartbreak and learn from herself. For the first time I saw a journal as a tool. It was a tool that I was not ready to use yet.
Then I would grow closer to someone very special who used her journal in a very different way. Her journal was part meditation and part prayer. On mornings that she does journal, her day starts off centered and the storm of her mind is calmed and ready for a new day. She had allowed God to speak to her and her to speak out her heart. Her heart is many beautiful things, but it is first and foremost a mother.
It was through her inspiration and example that I finally went to a bookstore and bought my own journal and took to writing in it as often as I can. I am forever changed and a better man for her inspiration. My style is neither like her's or Jade's. It is my own. Sometimes it is reflective and other times it pleads and begs for a better life. Sometimes it is grateful and other times bitter. It is always honest, holds no disguise and can bleed and celebrate with abandon.
For some it is an autobiography. For some it is a prayer. For some it is a reference tool. For some it is all of the above and more and less. There is no right or wrong way to do this. We each have within us an individual heart that beats to its own rhythm of passions and pains.
If you do not journal, I hope you will look into it and try to write your story in your manner. If you do journal, I would love to hear more in the comments about how you do it and what you have gotten from it.
Write. Love. Express. Never stop expressing.