It Places Institute Francais Florence

WORKING WITH THE MORNING PAGES, we begin to sort through the differences between our real feelings, which are often secret, and our official feelings, those on the record for public display. Official feelings are often indicated by the phrase, “I feel okay about that [the job loss, her dating someone else, my dad’s death, … ].”

 

What do we mean by “I feel okay”? The morning pages force us to get specific. Does “I feel okay” mean I feel resigned, accepting, comfortable, detached, numb, tolerant, pleased, or satisfied? What does it mean? Okay is a blanket word for most of us. It covers all sorts of squirmy feelings; and it frequently signals a loss. We officially feel okay, but do we? At the root of a successful creative recovery is the commitment to puncture our denial, to stop saying, “It’s okay” when in fact it’s something else. The morning pages press us to answer what else.

 

In my years of watching people work with morning pages, I have noticed that many tend to neglect or abandon the pages whenever an unpleasant piece of clarity is about to emerge. If we are, for example, very, very angry but not admitting it, then we will be tempted to say we feel “okay about that.” The morning pages will not allow us to get away with this evasion. So we tend to avoid them.