My previous comments about choosing the right book or tablet to write in may have seemed of little importance. My reasoning was quite simple. The journal you write will become something special to you over time, and getting started with the book or tablet that is right for you is essential to this process. We take care of the things we value and treat them in a special way. Entries you make might be scattered over several different notebooks and the benefit of continuity will be lost to you. Putting them in the same place each time from the very beginning will ensure that what you write today will be there for you tomorrow and next week, next month, next year.
In so many ways, our lives seem fragmented and erratic. Yet, at the same time, many of the problems and issues that we face today are frequently the same ones we have already dealt with in the past. Having all in one place information about these issues and how we handled them – or didn’t handle them – provides us with insight and wisdom directly out of our own experience. Yes, new problems are always arising, and there are often similarities with what has happened to us in the past that we can find supportive and useful. We know a great deal more about solving the issues that confront us than we give ourselves credit for. The journal entries we write can help us to tap into this. They can reveal what worked and what didn’t work in the past.
The journal can become a treasure house filled with the help and expertise we have amassed over time. This is an important reason for preserving the books and tablets we write instead of disposing of them – which many people, after the fact, regret. There is definitely an aspect of continuity in our lives whether we have appreciated it in the past or not. The journal helps us to see and understand this.
“Writing has become fun for me. I never realized I could enjoy myself so much writing down the adventures I’ve had in my life. Living them over again has given my day lots of sparkle,” said a participant in one of my journal writing groups. And the only way you can discover this for yourself is to see what happens when you write.
An Additional Suggestion
An additional suggestion: Enter the date, the time and the place where you wrote the entry. And don’t read what you’ve written that day! Turn the page, or close the tablet. The tendency to begin immediately editing whatever you’ve written is overwhelming. You will see spelling errors or grammar mistakes or a repetition of the same word and on and on. Instead of dumping your stress, you are simply adding to it! Making corrections in your journal does not heal you; letting go of whatever is causing you stress – that is part of the healing process you initiate with your journal entry today.
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