A healthy relationship with ourselves starts with self-reflection. It starts with telling ourselves the truth. Which we start doing by exploring our days, by exploring the smaller and bigger parts of each 24-hour period. Which we start doing by getting still and getting quiet and writing. After all, writing is one of the best ways we can discover ourselves, pick up on patterns, see things we swore weren’t there before.
Below is a list of questions to help you do just that. Be sure to explore why for each one.
- What was my favorite part of the day?
- What made me feel uncomfortable?
- What was magical? (Think small. Think like a child. Think seemingly ordinary. Rain. Music. Math.)
- What was silly?
- What did I say yes to when I yearned to say no?
- What did I say no to when I yearned to say yes?
- What am I yearning to change?
- What was I thinking about when I looked in the mirror this morning? What popped into my mind?
- How am I feeling? Where am I feeling this feeling in my body?
- What did I want to say aloud that I didn’t? Why did I remain silent?
- What am I worried about?
- What am I excited about?
- How did I take care of myself? What do I still need? How can I provide it?
- Did I act in a way that felt insincere or untrue—a way that I regretted or made me feel disappointed? What can I learn from this?
- What surprised me about today? About what I thought? About how I acted? About what I said? About what I didn’t say?
- What was the most important part of my day?
- What inspired me?
Pick three to five questions that resonate most with you, and explore them most days of the week. They will give you a glimpse into everything from who you are to what you need to what you’ve been hiding (maybe from yourself, maybe from others).
What I love about writing our responses to questions (like the above) is that we are saying that our feelings, thoughts, wishes, desires, impressions, reactions, opinions—ultimately our voice—are vital. All of it matters.
“Writing about yourself and your life…is a huge privilege, and that writing can be incredibly liberating. Writing in a diary is, at its core, a declaration that your voice matters. If you’re one of the many people who is told the opposite by society—told that you should be quieter, that expressing your own needs makes you selfish or ‘crazy,’ that you mostly exist to take care of other people—then choosing to speak your truth can be a powerful act. It’s a way of saying, ‘I’m more than a supporting character in someone else’s narrative; I am the hero of this story, and what I do, say, think and feel has value.’ And finding your voice in private makes it much easier to find your voice in public.”
Yes, it does. It really does.