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My Journal is the Meeting Room

Updated: Sep 26, 2020

As I live in my heart,

I find myself crying often,

eyes overflowing as I allow my tears

with compassion and acceptance.

I was punished for crying

Closed into a room until I ceased,

Banished for being scared

by adults who didn’t want to feel

I am the adult now and

My walls of control are built by me

Made of childhood memories now

Welcomed with open arms

Every day I sit in silence hoping my

Inner guard is relaxed and

In an allowing mood to let go of

Control born of years of living

Every day I sit in silence

I’m building trust as I walk up

To my inner guard, offer peace

And hold the heart door open

Some days it works and others not.

I am the patient parent holding

The crying child. I am tolerance

and compassion.

Some days there are tears from

Painful memories and missteps

Not yet aired or forgiven.

Other days tears of joy and relief.

I started a conversation yesterday

With forgotten friends,

Long ago acquaintances

I lost touch with

They all came in together

The young shirley in her 20’s,

the middle-age shirley in her 40’s

the older shirley in her 60’s.

As we sat together, the reunion

Started with a surge of regrets,

tears of guilt for the forgotten

connections and a commitment to go on.

I didn’t expect they had so much to say

I got scared and confused

And lived with a headache

for the rest of the day

Until I realized they all

Want to be heard and honored

For every choice that was made

For every action that we shared.

My journal is the meeting room.

The rules are simple.

Honest reflection

Citing lessons learned.

Crying is allowed.

My heart is the guide.

Having empathy

Expressing compassion

To know what

You feel

To walk in

Your shoes

To carry your


Loving who

You love

Dreaming your



Your heart

Now I comprehend

Your essence

I am you

Participants’ Reflections:

  • That was a great reflection about the childhood memories, very similar to my home. They’d say, “I’ll give you something to cry about.” So apparently some of us grew up the same way. But what I’ve learned over the years is that tears usually are a gift, like a cleansing of your emotions. Right now, I am going through some grief. In another community I’ve been a part of for a long time, we lost one of our key members, a very, very dear person. I’m walking through the grief. The only bad tears I’ve heard of are tears of despair. This community, and that other community I belong to are communities of hope. It’s important to learn how to process feelings, and this community helps us do that.

  • And honoring those feelings is so important.

  • I was just thinking of empathy, of putting oneself in someone else’s shoes and how that is really hard to do. Because we all think so differently. I’ve been studying the enneagram. My husband is a 5, I identify with a 1. I make decisions like that, and he wants to ponder for a long time and doesn’t like to be pressured or pushed. We couldn’t go away last year, and we decided to go away this year. He didn’t decide til a few days ago for sure. It’s just hard to be patient because patience is not one of my strengths either. So I have to wait until he is comfortable and ready, and that reminder about being in someone else’s shoes, I don’t think like that.

  • That’s using all your patience.

  • I’m an 1 as well on the enneagram. In the reading, you said keeping the door open to your heart. And for those of us who have birthed children, we learned how to voluntarily relax our muscle, and I do that in meditation all the time. I remember and scan. What occurred to me is that I can do that with my heart.

  • I focused on the compassion. I recently had a family member, who has different political views from the rest of my family—I’ve put that aside. It’s there, and I have a close relationship with this person, a lot of love and compassion. I recently had a long talk with someone else about how I do that, someone struggling with that. The day before yesterday, this person noticed something that could have saved my life. It was a dangerous situation that I wasn’t aware of. It’s just striking that all this happened all together. It was such an acknowledgement for compassion and love.

  • What a dichotomy.

  • I loved that you reminded me of so many things. I’m grateful I’m here. You said your journal is a meeting room. I’m a writer and I always keep my journals close by. But I realized when you said that, I no longer do that. I do have my pads of paper nearby but they’ve become to-do lists, which is great because I can’t store all my to-dos in my head. But there is so much more to me than what I need to get done. I do miss writing down my feelings and thoughts. Your words made me realize this time last year – I probably have three journals written in and stuffed because I was not in such a great place last year. I know last night was the full moon but it rained, so I think tonight, when it’s going to be clear, I’m going to light a fire in my firepit and burn those journals. I never knew what to do with them. But that was then and I’m no longer in that place. I don’t want to just put them in the trash. So thank you for the reminder to put away the to-do lists and start writing the feelings list. As you said, let your heart lead the way. Clearing is on my list.

  • And before we started this morning, I shared the clear message for you to clear out the energy in your house, and what a way to do it.

  • Through the reading, what came to me was working more on forgiving myself for things from the past. Things I’ve admonished myself for years, when I didn’t have my voice. Sometimes I wonder what it would be like if I had a different childhood and had married someone kind. Maybe I would have grown up with a voice as an adult. I have more of a voice than I used to. I’d still like to have a stronger one. That’s what I got. I want to continue working on going back in time and forgiving myself and releasing them because what I hope for is that I didn’t do anything wrong. I just didn’t have the strength or knowledge.

  • You did the best you could with the circumstances of where you were. Your voice is stronger now.

  • And I am reminded that I work on forgiveness for everything outside of me. I forgive my father for forsaking his light in my life. I’ve talked about that (see April 29 blog). It’s easier to forgive other people, but not myself. Forgiving myself for forsaking the light in my life is just as important if not more. It’s interesting how that works.

  • Thank you for that. I’m thinking about the phrase ‘the inner guard’ is what stood out for me. That inner guard as we go out into life and have experiences builds on so many nuggets that come from other people. The people that have spoken this morning have really spoken to me, not just the reading. I needed to hear things other people have said. I so appreciate being reminded to relax. I think we can’t call that inner guard a lifeguard until we get to a place of non-tension and pay attention.

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