Conduit for My Consciousness
I want to deeply know myself. To understand my gradations, comfortably and lovingly sit with my thoughts and emotions, and accept myself fully. A pursuit that hasn’t been easy.
The truth is, I can’t remember a time when I didn’t feel at odds with the cacophony of my mind or my kaleidoscope of emotions. All of which have felt, to me, like an immense burden. How was I ever supposed to embrace, much less love, messy thoughts that felt endless and emotions too tremendous? How could I? Especially when for so long they weighed me down.
And so, for most of my life, I buried it all inside. I harbored a profound fear and overwhelm of containing and feeling too much, along with a sprawling anxiety around sharing those parts of myself with others. It’s always felt to me as if there was no way to do so safely. Because there isn’t. The stakes are too high. I can’t open myself up without risking judgment, or rejection. And I never could handle feeling exposed.
Be that as it may, there is one space where my blended thoughts and full range of emotions come alive. My late night ramblings and my 5 AM dreamy drawls. My keeper of joys and aches, my musings, and secret nothings. I’ve created a conduit for my consciousness. My journal. It is the longest ongoing conversation I’ve ever had with anyone. And it means everything to me.
As someone who, by default, lives so inwardly, having a safe space for self-expression is vital for me. Without somewhere to pour out my twisting thoughts and enormous emotions, I become a molotov cocktail. But I have no interest in shattering and engulfing myself or others in flames. This is where my journal comes in. It holds everything so I don’t have to.
And capturing my thinking and feelings grants me infinite opportunities to explore my depths. Each day I fill the pages with my inner landscape to celebrate, scrutinize, and interrogate. I excavate everything. And I find myself with more questions than answers. It's alluring to dig deeply inside myself, ask questions, and make discoveries. There’s something dazzling about how much I don’t know and never will.
But it’s also an uncomfortable and sometimes painful journey. Putting so much of myself into words I can see makes everything inside me feel all the more real. Even though I’m not my thoughts or emotions, looking at a page filled with them feels a lot like looking in the mirror. Sometimes I hate what I see.
Yet, it is through confronting my nuances and multitudes that I feel closer to myself. To me, these moments of discomfort are signs to keep expressing myself and dig deeper. To keep going. And even if what I write may not be inherently valuable, at least I know I have made the effort to express and explore myself intimately and honestly. I show up in the pages fully.
In the past, I constantly attempted to write in journals. In rage, pain, confusion, and everything in between. But I rejected so much of myself that even the slightest thought of anyone stumbling upon my journals and discovering anything “negative” I kept bottled up terrified me. What would they think of me? Often, I tore the pages out, shredded them like confetti, and sprinkled any evidence of my humanity in the trash.
These days, journaling daily is a sign of progress. It’s freeing to take a small step each day towards embracing myself and moving away from being embarrassed or ashamed of what’s within me. I invite myself to sit with and honor what I think and feel. It’s empowering to want and have the ability to confront so many parts of myself when it’s much easier to avoid.
And so it goes, it is within the pages of my journal where I feel most fully seen and whole. And buried in my words, across each line, are pieces of me waiting to be discovered, explored, and embraced. Each day, I return. To humbly give way to what wants to flow and emerge through ink on the page. It’s a never ending journey of exploration. Vast with no destination. A pursuit that’s more than worthwhile.
The final version of this essay wouldn’t exist without the kindness and support from: Elizabeth Edwards, Leo Ariel, Oscar Obregon, Kelly Davis, and Rachael Tiss. Your feedback on my rough draft is deeply appreciated. Thank you.
Beautiful, Pure and Raw!
I love it, Sandra. Love it!
There were so many stop-and-reflect moments during the reading.
“I invite myself to sit with and honor what I think and feel.” This sentence has made me emotional. I’ve got tears in my eyes.
Looking into ourselves, confronting the emotions and behaviour that bug us and then speaking up about them is the hardest and most rewarding practice.
Thank you for sharing!
"I invite myself to sit with and honor what I think and feel." Damn, this is so powerful.
Thank you for sharing this with us, Sandra. Your words soothe the soul and inspire me to work through my own kaleidoscope of emotion on the page.