Sometimes I go mining through old journals to see where I've been, how I've grown through life experiences and difficulties, and to observe patterns over time. Life offers many opportunities for us to learn the most valuable lessons and it's up to us to choose the path of learning and insight. For a long time, my choice was to blame other people for my unhappiness, refusing to see how I was creating it myself. I embraced the role of victim and was addicted to my misery. I kept saying I wanted to be happy, but I wasn't doing much of anything to allow happiness into my life. Instead, I counted all the ways people did me wrong and I carried around a lot of grudges and unforgiveness.
When I decided I was ready to let go of all that heavy baggage, I agreed to let Life show me what I most needed to learn. I was then gifted with a number of people who pushed my buttons and many challenging situations to struggle through. In my journal, I wrote about what and who triggered me, but rather than just blaming the others involved and letting emotions like irritation and anger permeate my writing, I started using a more self-reflective approach, exploring the source of my emotions and what they were exposing about myself. Then I started to see how all that *inside stuff* was directly impacting my reactions with others, often in negative and unhelpful ways.
Using my journal to reflect on this over time helped me see how much I needed to heal within myself. The more I see, the more I heal, and the the more I heal, the easier it becomes to handle challenging situations and interactions with others in a healthier way. The life lessons we most need to learn will keep resurfacing until we see what we need to see about *ourselves* and open up to healing old beliefs, attachments and wounds, even when it feels vulnerable or scary to do so.