The Process: Journaling

In my book, The Process, we refer to the “second step” as Self Awareness and Journaling. Today my friend Zoraida shared this picture above. Many of you heard her testimony over the weekend. She shared that the journaling exercise, along with Temperament awareness, was basically the key to unlocking the broken areas of her heart to begin to navigate towards healing.

I will use the words of Chapter 5 to present this concept to you:

“I used to call the second step of the Process Journaling … but now I call it Self-Awareness and Journaling. The new name, which emerged as a result of work I had done with many couples, reflects an important change in emphasis. This label more accurately describes what always has to happen before either partner can move on to the next step of the Process, Forgiveness. There must be Self-Awareness, reflected in personal Journaling that commits the perspective of that Self-Awareness to the written word.

Here in the second step of the Process, there is a sustained personal effort on the part of each partner to dig deep down and reveal the true causes of their own deepest pain and their own most stubborn, recurrent struggles — and share all of that with each other. This work is not easy, and it does not happen overnight, but the simple reality is that you can’t move forward to forgiveness in your life without it. Of course, you can make any number of sounds with your mouth at any time, including the words “I forgive you,” but the actuality of forgiveness will not take place in your life without this second step.

As a man believes in his heart, so he is. — Proverbs 23:7

Unhealthy beliefs trick us into believing that what we have trained ourselves, over a long period of years, is reality. One example of such a disempowering belief system would be the underlying belief “I am not worth loving.” Another would be the underlying belief: “The people I love and trust always let me down in the end.” We may not say these unhealthy, deeply held beliefs out loud, but whether we do or not, the sad truth is, we build our lives around them.

The point of the Self-Awareness and Journaling step is to identify and express disempowering beliefs … and, just as important, to identify and express the specific experiences that gave rise to them.

Why do this? Why “dig up the past”? Because these predictable patterns of action and behavior so often create total BROKENNESS: not just with the partner, but with the world at large. And if we don’t understand these patterns, we revert to what I call “tolerable recovery”: coping and hoping, with a side order of denial. Meanwhile, while we congratulate ourselves for “staying together for the kids” (or whatever other story we’ve come up with), our marriage continues to disintegrate … even if we do manage to distract ourselves from that daily disaster, temporarily, by earning more money, buying a bigger house, or having an affair.

Most people are not eager to do the work Step Two demands of them, work that, inevitably requires a closer, more sustained look at their childhood and at their personal history than they are used to taking. Yet Self-Awareness is impossible without it … and a marriage in crisis or approaching crisis is almost certainly doomed unless this work is done.

Most of us are in deep ignorance about the past history, the belief systems, and the old assumptions that guide our actions.

We don’t even think these things have a significant impact on our behavior. But they do. Taken together, I call these influences our Root System. If we don’t make changes in the Root System, then whatever surface changes we make, whatever weeds we think we’ve pulled out, won’t make any difference. The same stuff will grow back, because the Root System remains the same.”

This is a short excerpt from the book on the journaling chapter. I believe reading about the Process will help you see the need in your own life to engage in the Process; in order to truly grow, mature, discover your true self, bring deep inner healing that will affect all of your relationships, help you discover purpose, and reveal new healthy ways to carry yourself in your business or vocation.

If you would like to learn more, please check with your upline on how to order your copy.

Bill Hoffman

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