Although this blog has become sort of a “go-to” journal, I still find that putting an actual pen to actual paper keeps me honest. Oh sure, I can always rip out pages I don’t like, but it’s like breaking a deal with myself. I do however admit to burning up all the journals I wrote when I was married to “wasband #1” because my entries were not truthful. They depicted a life I wanted to have but didn’t. Even after nearly 20 years, those journals just didn’t ring true and I realized they weren’t worth saving.
So—why journal? I do it because having the written words on paper gives me an authenticity I enjoy–and can’t deny. For example, this weekend I am attending a wonderful two-day seminar called “Letting It Go.” It was strongly suggested to all of us who are attending that we do two things prior to showing up for the seminar:
- Recognize that feelings are going to be stirred up big time in mental preparation for this seminar. We may or may not find we are anxious, angry, upset, weepy, worried; all to be ready for the clearing to come.
- Keep a journal of what is going on in our heads and hearts. (This will also be the journal I will take with me to the seminar.)
This time, I am keeping a journal filled with what is on my mind and heart and not treating the journal as if other people will read it. Keeping a journal is a way for me to stay honest and keep things real for me. At this stage of my life, I am pretty dang sure that I am none of the following:
- a saint
- another Mother Theresa
- a flawless person
- a constant giver and listener
- a constant inspiration
Realizing all that, my journals are for me and my own progress; no one else. But I do know that I am trying to be the best me I can be. Keeping a journal helps; it keeps me honest and it reminds me that while I am not perfect, I am doing what I can to be better. And right now, “better” is not bad at all. Here is what else I know about keeping a journal: splurge a little. Get yourself a nice-looking journal (mine has kitties all over it), and a really, really good pen. Trust me, it makes a difference.
Oh, yes, and don’t judge yourself when you write. Just WRITE. I hope that you find your own thoughts on paper as clarifying as I find mine.
P.S. Don’t be afraid to doodle in the journal, too! I do it all the time.