Putting Your Heart On Paper

From: Farmer’s Daughter’s Almanac  (2001)
(Used by permission)

“In my currently chaotic fields,
poetry is the only pasture
which grants me seed
to harvest a thought.”

-Deborah Patterson

Emotions are running rampant, and have been for over a week now, since the election of Donald Trump as President-Elect of the United States. It doesn’t matter how people voted, they are raging from their point of view, and often, without much thought. Many are just reacting off the top of their heads and from raw emotions. The question remains:  “How can we clarify our thinking and feelings so we can protest more rationally and without spewing vitriol which only makes a bad situation worse?” Whether one is defending the election or protesting the results, knowing what we are actually feeling and why, is paramount to constructive action and our own peace of mind and resolve. So how do we do that when our emotions run so deep, wild and often uncontrolled?

When we think in terms of healing and wholeness, there are various ways this can happen. When it comes to clarifying thoughts and dealing with various emotions, one of the best ways is through writing in journals. Journals can be prose or poetry in any form the writer finds most comfortable. But whatever form you use, you will become increasingly aware of what you are feeling, and the depth of the agony or ecstacy. You will be enlightened about your own actions and reactions in a deeper way. Often we may not even be aware of exactly what we may be feeling until the pen actually touches the paper and takes on its own life.

A good friend recently sat down and penned a note to someone he violently disagreed with. The note was very harsh, and his wife urged him to let it set awhile and re-think his words before mailing it. In the meantime, she relayed the situation to me. I carefully penned a response which did not deny his feelings, but asked him to go within and clarify his intention, reminding him that when someone pushes our buttons that hard, it’s a clear indication that they have tapped into some shadow aspect of ourselves.

Our harsh judgments are not always indicative of what is wrong with another person, but is always a mirror reflection of an unclaimed anger or repression within ourselves. I think that is exactly what is happening to our country on a giant scale. We are still pointing fingers and blaming, rather than honestly attempting to look inward at our whole system and find win/win solutions. After letting the letter set awhile, my friend had released the situation and let it go. He said to me that perhaps he just needed to write it down. That is the power of not disowning our feelings, but of allowing the emotions expression and then discharging them… this is the power of clarification through writing. There seems to be an added element of release once we allow our fingers to express what is raging in our minds.

There have been times in my life that feelings and emotions have been so over-powering that taking up pen is my best tool for organizing the storm taking place within. It also allows me to bring the energy down to a recognizable size and to either savor the beauty of what I am experiencing, or to understand my pain or reaction. By putting my heart on paper, I can not only express my tangled thoughts, but then I also have them in front of me so that once my body and mind have fully expressed those emotions and let them go, I can then see them with a more objective (and often spiritual) eye. I love it when someone trusts me sufficiently to lay their thoughts and souls bare by allowing me to read their journals and/0r poetry. It is a gift beyond compare.


Poets have teeth
to their truth
They can dig for potatoes
using only a pen.
They can walk on the water
in the way of their words,
they can live past the grave
on the space of a page.

They make freedom to edit the pain

Poets have eyes
in the back of their minds.
They can tear up the past
for a quilt of tonight,
they can warm up the lonely
with the shelter of hope,
they can die and leave firmly
a message of love.

They have freedom to water the rain.

—-Deborah Patterson  (2001)

Blog:  http://overthemilesofmymind.com

Book: Coming Full Circle through Changes, Challenges and Transitions  (www.facebook.com/changeschallengesandtransitions)



  1. Roselia Scheller on March 13, 2017 at 11:34 am

    Hi there! This post couldn’t be written any better! Reading through this post reminds me of my previous room mate! He always kept talking about this. I will forward this article to him. Pretty sure he will have a good read. Thank you for sharing!

  2. Ione on March 17, 2017 at 4:28 pm


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