Over the past year or two, I've noticed a pattern in my journaling in my mental health journal. Especially to the mental health prompt, "How am I honoring what I want" in my custom journal, I note both times where I honored what I want and times where I didn't.
This prompt isn't about trying to get what I want - I know we don't always get what we want. As I write in my custom journal, honoring what I want means at least acknowledging and asking for what I want. Often, this goes deeper - it's about honoring who I am.
Over time, through this mental health journaling, I've become much more aware of the many little and big ways I diminish myself - often for the sake of making others more comfortable. "Don't rock the boat!" underlies this subconscious habit. I've been understanding how the underlying fear of backlash and guilt for being me is connected to childhood trauma, too.
It's been a journey in my mental health journaling, and I'm definitely still in the journey, to stop automatically diminishing myself. I'm seeing how it's holding me back. And it's tiring. Like, really tiring. In the moment when this happens, I have to hold myself back and then do the mental calculations of what to say and how to present myself instead of just being me.
I guess that's also one reason why I've gravitated to journaling in my custom mental health journal - because when it's just me and my pen and my custom mental health journal, I can let all my true thoughts and feelings flow. As I do this on paper, I'm learning to do this in person.
I'm very tired as I write this, so I don't have a profound takeaway for this post. It's a bit incomplete, but that's true to how I feel right now.
In the meantime, some mental health journal prompts that can help us embrace and be our full selves are:
In my dream universe...
How am I honoring what I want?
I felt affirmed and celebrated in my skin when...
To me, living free means...
These prompts are in our Custom Wellness Journal and BIPOC Journal for Healing & Liberation.
I'm ok with feeling a little incomplete now, and I take comfort in knowing that I'm not alone. So many of us are in this journey of releasing that internalized oppression that holds us back and holds us down. Let's keep going in the journey, finding ways each day to just be.
Tired of Diminishing Myself...
Posted by Alina Liao on