Beyond ranting – the necessary authenticity on the other side

Our journal writing workshop last evening was yet again a wonderful opportunity to share insights and learn new perspectives. My gratitude goes to workshop participant Elinor who shared a wonderful phrase that somehow landed quite forcefully with me. She said: “Necessity has no emotion.”

The reason why this hit me with such a clunk is because it seems to account for what I have found in my journal beyond the ranting. Once I’ve stripped away the whining voice of my inner critic or the exclamation marks of my ego; when I’ve named and shamed the stuck-on-repeat stories with which I’ve been comforting myself, and once I’ve come to terms with my main vulnerabilities, what’s left is a calm, balanced narrative in which I’m finally able to speak my truth. There are no exclamation marks here. No over-blown claims about my own brilliance. No excuses and convoluted reasons why I won’t/shan’t/can’t. Just calm, logical, plain, straight-forward truth. Well hello.

Pearl

Inner wisdom and authenticity are the pearls I’m constantly encouraging my workshop participants to pursue. These are the buried treasures that our journals can reveal to us, but from whose scent the decoys and false trails of our inner critic, our stories, excuses and egoist self-justifications often throw us. How easily we become distracted and displaced! But every pearl needs its grit. It would be foolish though to mistake the grit for the final product!

In Elinor’s insight I’m seeing that authenticity is akin to necessity. Our authentic self is who we necessarily are – who we cannot avoid being, no matter how many layers of negativity, self-judgement and self justification we heap on top. And when we hear its voice we find pearlescent peace, quiet and truth.

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1 Comment

Filed under Journal Writing, Reflective Writing Practice, Self-Awareness

One response to “Beyond ranting – the necessary authenticity on the other side

  1. Elinor Brooks

    Hi Juliet

    Necessity has no emotion:

    I am pleased the phrase resonates with you so well as I have often found it helpful over the years and am grateful to my dear and good friend France Ellul (story teller, harpist, Go player) for sharing this wisdom with me. Like many other insights it has its origin in the east.

    I am interested in your further connection that authenticity has something in common with necessity. Last night when you spoke about noticing when our journal embarrasses us and makes us uncomfortable, I realised that I have already learned to listen for this in my poems, and that, conversely, reading through old poems that are authentic gives me joy because I am in the company of my own truth.

    Now I must tear myself away from words and thoughts and wash my pots! Have a great weekend and see you on Wednesday

    Elinor

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