Angry at the world

Dear Fellow Journalers,

There’s a line from the movie Network, which says ” I’m as mad as hell and I can’t take it anymore”. What do you do if you’re frustrated or downright angry and you can’t seem to write about it? Or, how do you write about “it” when you’re “spitting nails” and have trouble even verbalizing ?

We all have issues in our lives. I wrote an e-mail to a good friend recently telling her about all the things going bad in my life and she wrote back “Sallie, it’s called life.” Yeah, well! Little things become big things and before you know it you’ve reached the end of your rope. Writing about your life in the state you’re in can be extremely difficult and you may wonder if after you’ve written it, should you keep it? There’s an old custom which entails writing about your grievances and then burning the page. I don’t think we have to resort to that extreme measure! However, the problem remains. Can we write about our problems and if we can will there be a proper outcome?

When you’re angry you’ve also convinced yourself you are right and the other person is wrong. Later on afterwards you may start to doubt your feelings. Could I have been wrong?  In the land of the “dark side” we often say things we regret later and then the situation gets worse. It’s always better, if possible, to write your feelings instead of verbalizing them. Then what to do?


Write briefly:

  • The opposite of this anger is —–
  • This is how my body feels now —-
  • I’m afraid of —
  • I’m sad that —
  • What I need to do now —

Much later, when you’re calm, and can journal more objectively about the experience write the answer to:

  • What occurred when I became angry?
  • How did I handle the situation and what would I do differently?
  • Did anger serve me well in this instance?
  • Do I feel better about my situation?



Who are you?

Dear Fellow Journalers,

The month of May issues in our self-development journal. Now much has been written, centralized, podcasted (is there such a word?) about the journey of self by much more learned people than I so I thought I would touch on some simple ways for us to write about our journeys. To start us off, G asks the simple question:


Have you ever stopped and taken stock of who you are? I mean REALLY who you are. Just who ARE you?

Are you what other people say / think you are? Are you what you THINK you are? Are you what the “social measurements” say you are? Are you what you’ve been, or what you’re becoming? Just who ARE you?

And when you look in the mirror who do you see? Do you see you, or someone else? Just who are you?

And by the way, are you who YOU are, or what someone else WANTS you to be. Just who ARE you?

Are you what you started out to be, or are you still looking for what you WANT to be? Just who ARE you?

And say, if you know who you are today, are you certain it’s who you want to be TOMORROW? How difficult is it to be who you are, and how difficult is it to change? Just who ARE you?

Then is who you are what you WANT to be? Just who ARE you?

And while we’re at it, are you a human being or a human BECOMING? Just who ARE you?

Have you ever helped someone become what they wanted to be? Or have you spoiled someone’s dream of what they wanted to be? Just who ARE you?

Excuse me now, while you ponder “Just who ARE you?” I’ve got to go figure out —–Just who I am!



Kick start your journal

Dear Fellow Journalers,

This is a unique look at journal writing by Quinn McDonald:


Yesterday, my friend Marit said she was “waving from her journal page to mine,” and I thought, “what a great idea!” Need something to focus on? Need a jumpstart on writing?

This is more than a journal prompt. It’s not a word to write about, it’s a whole technique. And it’s powerful. Let’s get started:

  1. Warm up by focusing on your emotions: Right now, I feel [fill in the blank.] One word may be all you need.

  2. The reason I feel [blank] in 20 words: [describe how you reached this emotion.]

  3. Almost always, someone else is involved in this story about your emotion. Whether you are happy, anxious, excited, or skeptical, most of our emotions are connected to other people, often for reasons we don’t understand.

  4. Use the next page to write a dialog between you and the other person. Writing dialog means you will make things up. That’s fine. You want to figure out a reason for the emotion and what your role is and what the other person’s role is. By putting words in someone else’s mouth (and you know you are doing this), you are resolving old issues, exploring new ways to happiness, or clarifying ideas.

Example: I’m feeling anxious. A friend has asked me to help her in a way that I feel uncomfortable with. I want to help my friend, but I want to hold onto my values.

Q: I’m not sure I can do this, Friend.

F: But it will help John and it will be a big favor to me, too.

Q: I think speaking up at the Writers’ Club and supporting John as another member isn’t a good idea. The club rules say you have to be a published writer, and John isn’t.

F: It’s not about you, Quinn, it’s about getting John into a place where he can find business. And the club is great for that. You’ve gotten business that way. John is a good guy.

Q: I have gotten business from the club. But I was a published writer when I joined. And John isn’t.

F: He writes his own blog, and that’s publishing. You are just afraid he’s a better writer than you.

Q: A blog is not publishing. And I want what’s best for John. But getting him into the club is not in his best interest.

F: What’s wrong with you that you won’t help this friend? Haven’t you needed a hand before?

Q: I’ll be happy to help John in some way that helps John. Being dishonest doesn’t help anyone. Least of all John, if he gets a job he can’t handle.

. . . .the dialog can go on as long as you need it to. In this example, I see my own stubborn character, but also my clarity in not being dishonest. Yes, it’s a small thing, but I can see that if I vouch for John, and he doesn’t do well, the lie I told will be the reason John got in over his head. What I am understanding from this dialog is that my need for approval is pretty big,  not big enough to lie for someone.

Is this the dialog the way it really happened? No, but by making up the other half, I’m giving myself the opportunity to dig into my own emotions in ways that help me see my own motives clearly.

The dialog exercise is a good way to find out more about yourself.

–Quinn McDonald is an explorer in her journal.

The clock that stopped a long time ago..

Dear Fellow Journalers,

A perspective piece from G. Enjoy!


I recently stopped by to see an acquaintance of mine. (I can’t call him a friend because this guy doesn’t make friends) Now this guy, for reasons all his own, has become a bit of a hermit as he’s gotten older. You hardly ever see this guy in public, and he only goes out to buy the necessities of life.

I think that’s why a few of us stop by occasionally to see him. We just want to be sure he’s OK. He begrudgingly allows us in his house, and frankly, we wonder how long this is going to last. He seems to withdraw more and more each time I see him. I understand that this is common among certain older people, who “have no one.”

When I was there the other day, I noticed, for the first time, this beautiful old clock. It was a magnificent old thing, beautifully carved from a fine wood. But I also noticed it wasn’t running.

When I asked him about it, he said “That clock stopped a long time ago.” I asked him if he was going to get it fixed. NO! I asked him if I could get it fixed for him. NO!

I then pleaded that it was much too beautiful to leave just sitting, not fulfilling its’ intended purpose. I said a piece like that should be running and on display, so its’ beauty could be appreciated.

He stared at me, giving me the most quizzical look. ‘I told you, that clock stopped running a long time ago!”

Long moments of silence passed between us. I wondered if I was about to be thrown out. But suddenly he decided to explain himself.

“You see, that clock is kinda like my life. It had its’ place, time and function for years. It worked perfectly, and did its’ job. Then one day, it just got old and tired and stopped, kinda like my life.”

I protested. “Yes, it is like your life. But in a different way than you’ve come to believe. Just like you, that clock is still very much alive! All it needs is a few adjustments, and it’ll be fully functional again! Just like your life! It’s too beautiful to just sit there, half buried by junk, when it could be restored to its’ former glory!”

The look on his face was like a little boy who had been caught being bad. More moments of uneasy silence.

“WHO ASKED YOU ANYWAY! Just because we worked together for a few years doesn’t give you the right to come into my house and tell me what’s wrong with my life, or my clock!! Get out!”

My drive home was a long one.

As I sit here relaying this story to you, I’m thinking about that old man, sitting there alone in his house, doing who knows what. I’m thinking about that old clock too. Both are beautiful things, easily fixed, but choosing instead to just remain where they are, not fulfilling their potential. What a shame.

(P.S. Yes, I’m going to try to visit him again, after a time, giving things a chance to “cool” Wish me luck—I’d really like to see both back up and running.)


Wednesday words to live by


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