The Vertical Line

A worry that plagued me when I was already knee deep in writing was that my story was revealing a self-centered narcissist. Gazing at the pages, I’d see nothing but rows and ROWS of vertical lines. I, I, I — it’s all about ME!

That’s the enemy talking. He’s forever whispering in my ear; telling me to stop doing the very things that are helping me recover. Call him what you will; the devil, the flesh, or maybe a twisted merging of the two… the mind. Writing is therapeutic. Writing opens up your mind, and brings hidden things to the surface. The best advice I could ever offer anyone—aside from seek God—is…

Just write.

Writing (or journaling) is like a treasure hunt. Thoughts surface, questions come to mind, and incredible hints and clues appear on the page—right in front of your eyes. Yesterday, something in my post The Big Picture did exactly that. I found a clue!

“… by becoming someone that I was not. You know…a people-pleaser. Give them what they want. Tell them what they want to hear. Be who THEY want you to be. The problem here is that now I’m not even sure who THEY were.

As I typed that last sentence, I wasn’t sure where it even came from, and it didn’t make much sense, but I knew I didn’t want to delete it. I had to go back to it. It was telling me something. Of course, everyone’s story is unique. But, in my story… the truth that I’m learning—the thing that continually surfaces and catapults me over hurdles—is that there was no THEY. It was all in my mind.

My enemy is ME.

For forty some years, that vertical line that now fills the pages of the story was my victim. I’ve beaten her up and knocked her down again and again. And towards the end… I’m quite certain that I was trying to kill her!

THAT is why I write about her. Because I owe her that much, and I’m sorry for what I’ve put her through.

And it’s time that I allow her to heal.


(The picture is from Turquoise Lake in Colorado)


  1. Yes. In the short time I’ve been reading you I’ve beheld a slow transformation in your writing. And it’s beautiful, this transformation that is you!

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  2. Wauw. Just wauw. You are a true writer. And it is okay if it is about you. You have a story to tell. You have a way with words that engages people so they want to know more, want to know your story.

    I will definitely keep on reading.

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