This I Believe

Janan - Tyler, Texas
Entered on March 24, 2007
Age Group: 65+


I believe in the power of the written word. It is a way to know myself as well as considering others. It is an aide in working through situations that are baffling me. I have always enjoyed writing; just for the act of pushing a pen across paper, forming words and ideas and watching the ink unfold in front of me. Now it’s more than an exercise, it’s connected with heart and mind.

Letters in the mail, infrequent now that we have instant correspondence through email, are gifts. Recently we were given a box of letters in manila folders, organized and dated. We had written these to relatives, starting in 1957 when we married. Reading them has opened a flood of unexpected memories. Early marriage reappeared with clarity. In the file labeled 1958 a letter introduced the beauty of our newborn baby daughter, written to grandparents from my hospital bed. Those words allow a view of our lives as we were living them.

Journaling is another way of appraising ourselves. Expressions of our thoughts and feelings can be an outlet to record and deal with the joys and sorrows of each day, to voice hopes or plans for the future. On days when mind and thoughts are muddled and focus is evasive, its possible to change our day by reconsidering what is written and working through those thoughts and feelings, determining real from imagined.

Daily writing helps to thoughtfully confront some tenants of life. It is an aid to clarify our dreams; to make plans for the future; to rid ourselves of fears or anxieties we are harboring. It’s a way to read scripture and other writings then commit our understandings to a personal level on paper. There it can be reexamined with more depth and detail.

I believe in the written word because I can see those patterns of growth or of a need for growth or change. Solutions may become obvious just by returning and rethinking the pages which described a difficult situation. It can also be a joyful reminder of delicious events that had slipped into the cracks of life and time.

Rarely would the writing be meaningful to anyone else, but it can be journey into the real me, as valuable as a dose of Tylenol for a raging fever. It can bring help, healing, happiness and refresh the day through recall.