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  • Writer's pictureBrandilyn Hallcroft

Healing Journals: A Lifelong Journey of Self-Discovery and Growth

Updated: Jun 8

Healing is not a destination but a lifelong commitment. Our journey with trauma begins at the very start of our lives, even potentially before we leave the womb. The act of birth itself can be traumatic as you transition from the warmth and security of the womb to the harsh realities of the external world.

As you navigate life, you inevitably encounter various traumatic experiences. The impact of these experiences varies from person to person, and what might be traumatic for one individual may not be for another. This is because trauma is subjective and deeply personal.

Until you go through the process of healing, you pass on pain. Psychological pain creates fear; fear creates anger & anxiety. In my opinion, you are either creating fear or love; I choose to create love; what will your choice be?

Healing Journey

The Nature of Trauma

I love Carl Jung and reference him often. Anyone who has studied psychology knows the name. He was a close colleague of Sigmund Freud, and both are pioneers of modern psychology. Both used different approaches to understanding human behavior; Freud developed psychoanalysis, and Jung used a more spiritual approach. Although much of what Jung did resonates with me more, I understand the necessity of both. In my healing process, I didn’t begin to get better until I combined the mental, spiritual, and physical. We are multilayered beings, so to heal, all must be integrated.

"Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life, and you will call it fate."

 — Carl Jung.

Carl Jung's insight emphasizes the significance of understanding our subconscious mind in the healing process. Trauma often resides in the subconscious, influencing our behaviors, thoughts, and emotions without awareness. By bringing these hidden aspects to light, you can begin to address and heal from them.

Psychological studies have shown that the brain encodes traumatic experiences differently than ordinary memories. These memories are stored in a fragmented and disorganized manner, often resurfacing as flashbacks or intrusive thoughts. This understanding underscores the importance of therapeutic interventions that help reorganize these memories into a coherent narrative.

The Role of Resilience and Support Systems

"One day, in retrospect, the years of struggle will strike you as the most beautiful."

— Sigmund Freud.

Freud's words remind us that the journey through trauma can lead to profound personal growth. Our resilience, or the ability to bounce back from adversity, plays a crucial role in this process. Resilience is not an inherent trait but a skill that can be developed through various means, such as building strong support systems, practicing mindfulness, and engaging in self-care.

Support systems, including family, friends, and mental health professionals, provide the necessary emotional backing to navigate the complexities of trauma. These connections offer a safe space for expressing our feelings and receiving validation, which is vital for healing.

Integrating Trauma into Our Life Story

"The good life is a process, not a state of being. It is a direction, not a destination."

 — Carl Rogers.

Carl Rogers' perspective aligns with the idea that healing is a continuous journey. It's about acknowledging our big and small traumas and learning to integrate them into our life story. This integration involves accepting our past experiences and understanding how they shape our present selves.

Journals to Healing

To assist in this lifelong journey of healing, I have created my journal series, "Journals to Healing," which offers various journals with prompts designed to foster self-awareness, reflection, and growth. Here are some prompts included in these journals that can guide you through your healing process:

  • What is one thing you are ready to let go of in order to heal? How will releasing it help you heal?

  • What is a fear or limiting belief holding you back from healing? What can you do to overcome this fear?

  • What is one belief you have about yourself that you would like to change? Why do you believe this? Why is this unhealthy for your self-esteem? Write a positive affirmation that you can use to challenge this belief.

  • Write down a time when you faced a difficult challenge or setback. How did you overcome the setback? What did you learn about yourself in the process? Write an affirmation that you can use to overcome challenging situations.

  • What is one thing about yourself that you have been afraid to face or acknowledge? Why do you think this? Draw, sketch, or scribble something that symbolizes how you feel about this.

  • What negative emotions or patterns do you tend to repress or deny? How do these emotions or patterns show up in your life? Draw, sketch, or scribble something that symbolizes how you feel about this.

  • What is one thing that is causing you stress right now? How can you reframe this situation in an upbeat light? 

  • Is there someone in your life that you feel stressed around? How can you prepare to be around this person and not feel stressed? 

  • What is something you wish you could forgive someone for? What is holding you back from this forgiveness?

  • What is a situation where you struggled to forgive someone but ultimately found peace? What did this process of forgiveness teach you about yourself?

  • What are three things that you are grateful for today? How do these things enhance your life? How can you express your gratitude for them? Write an affirmation that you can use to express and remind yourself of this gratitude.

  • What aspects of your health and well-being are you grateful for? How do these aspects contribute to your overall happiness? How can you maintain or improve these aspects? Write an affirmation that will remind you to be grateful for your health.

  • What is a recent challenge for you regarding the loss of someone close? How do you think addressing and navigating this specific challenge could contribute to your ongoing healing process?

  • How has grief challenged or reinforced your understanding of life, death, and meaning? How do these insights influence your daily choices and the way you find purpose in your life moving forward?

  • What is a lesson that I need to learn from my past experiences? 

  • How do I overcome my fears and obstacles?

Since everyone has different types of dreams, I didn’t create this journal with specific prompts like the others. I can’t predict the dreams that people might have. This journal is designed for you to write down your dreams and interpret the symbols in them so you can see how your subconscious is speaking to you when you sleep. The questions for the interpretations are as follows:

  • What was the overall feeling of the dream? How did the feeling of the dream relate to your waking life? What symbols were present in the dream? What do the symbols mean to you personally?

Psychological Facts About Healing

Understanding some key psychological facts can further enhance your healing journey:

  1. Neuroplasticity: The brain's ability to reorganize itself by forming new neural connections allows us to heal from trauma and develop healthier thought patterns.

  2. Mindfulness: Practicing mindfulness can reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, improve emotional regulation, and increase overall well-being.

  3. Journaling: Expressive writing has been shown to improve mental health by helping individuals process emotions and gain insight into their experiences.

Healing is a lifelong commitment that requires patience, self-compassion, and continuous effort. By understanding the nature of trauma, building resilience, and integrating our experiences into our life story, you can embark on a journey of self-discovery and growth. Utilizing tools such as healing journals can provide valuable support and guidance along the way. Remember, healing is not about reaching a final destination but embracing the ongoing process of becoming whole.


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