Deane's Blog

four steps to discovering how you feel

FaithDeane Watters2 Comments

Recently when I posted the blog, Lingering at Wisdom’s Door, I posed a final question: “At what door are you lingering?”

If you haven’t read it, you may want to go back and do so before reading on. Click here to find it:

Several of you let me know you wanted to think about what your answer might be. This is no simple concept! I considered the question and have a plan to help you come to a conclusion about which door you are standing by, hoping for wisdom.

My favorite quote about writing is credited to W.H. Auden, but I’m sure I said something similar long ago.

"How do I know what I think until I see what I say?"

As a teenager, I often journaled my thoughts and feelings so I could sort them out. My teenage angst felt much less daunting after writing down the words and reading them.

There is something almost magical about the power of the pen to enable the brain to sort through thoughts and feelings. This tool is a valid way to get to deeper feelings that may be hard to find without the help of a pen and some paper.

Let's look at the scripture. "Blessed is the one who listens to me, waiting daily at my doors, waiting at my doorway." (Proverbs 8:34) The question is, "At what door are you lingering?"

For me, journaling about this passage might look like this:

  1. Take an 8 1/2 X 11 piece of lined paper, perhaps in a spiral notebook.
  2. Write at the top. Where am I seeking wisdom?
  3. At this point I would pray, asking God to guide me to be honest and able to sort through what I am feeling.
  4. Now comes the interesting part. I don't think about it first and decide ahead of time what my answer will be and then write it down. Instead... I put my pen to the paper and start writing. Listening, I write and do not stop until I think what needs to get written comes out. That may take three minutes or twenty. There might one page or maybe  three. The idea is to not stop writing until I find out what I think about where I am seeking wisdom.


The great thing about this kind of journaling is that once you get started, you might find that you do not really care about this question. You might have something else on your mind that really needs to be processed. It’s OK! You are writing to find out what you think, how you feel or what you need. You may be surprised at what flows onto the page.

One other thing. You don’t need to worry about spelling or punctuation. NO teacher with a red pen peers over your shoulder so you can just feel free to express yourself. You could even plan to burn your pages afterwards if you feel afraid someone might find them! The idea is to discover what is happening inside you.


If you try to journal this way or if you have any questions I'd love to hear about it. Leave me a comment right up there at the top of this post, next to the date.