by Nancy Casey
In your writing today, you will be thinking about the rituals that you have, or once had, in your life.
In the broadest sense, a ritual is something that we do over and over again. Usually for a pretty good reason.
There are a lot of rituals contained in our daily habits. Many people always do the same thing when they get up in the morning. We can have rituals for health and hygiene, for keeping ourselves well-fed. We can have rituals for going to bed.
Some rituals are seasonal. All the different holidays throughout the year have different rituals associated with them. Our personal rituals for getting dressed and going out the door change with the seasons as well. If you walk to work along the same route every day, noticing the seasonal changes in a stranger’s yard could become a ritual for you.
There are many types of formal rituals. Think of the many rituals associated with churches and religions. Families have rituals Sports teams have rituals. Clubs have rituals. Support groups have rituals.
Rituals are usually comforting somehow. Sometimes the memory of how we have performed the same set of actions again and again over time can show us how we have grown. Sometimes when we don’t know what else to do, rituals can carry us through. Some rituals help us do good things for ourselves, whether we feel like doing them or not.
Today, write about the rituals in your life. You might decide to write in detail about just one ritual. Or you if you prefer, you could take note of many different rituals that you engage in over the course of a day, a month, a year, or your life so far.
Rituals are repetitive. They put a special kind of rhythm into our lives. There is something reliable about them. What do your rituals do for you?
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Nancy Casey has lived in Latah County for many years. Sometimes she teaches writing classes at the Recovery Center. You can find more of her work here. She offers (free!) writing help to anyone in recovery. This can be for any kind of writing project—resumes, letters, stories novels—email email@example.com for more information.