In today’s Magazine section of the BBC News’ Website, was this gem of an article:
I’ve kept a journal for the past 9 years or so now. Originally I used A4 hardback notebooks, now I use A5 notebooks as they are far more portable and can accompany me on my travels as they slip easily into my handbags. I can write and let my feelings flow into my journal whenever I wish and I don’t need access to a computer of any kind or size. Also, the process of writing with a pen slows my thoughts down and helps with inner reflection. I find this particularly useful at the end of the day, to reflect on the day, to get out any problems or issues. I then always spend some time focusing on the positive points of the day before closing my journal and going to sleep, hopefully gaining a balance in favour of the positive over the negative views of my life.
I started my journal when I started exploring my spirituality, and since I started there have been relatively few days when an entry hasn’t been made. Some days the entries are really short, other days they go on for pages and pages and pages. I’ve moaned and groaned into them. I’ve written about thoughts/feelings I don’t want to share with anyone else for fear of upsetting/hurting them. I’ve recorded the highs and lows of my life, the things I’d like to remember, and sometimes the things I’d rather forget. I’ve wittered on about all kinds of things, worked my way through problems and issues, allowed my subconscious mind to let the words flow onto the page to help me with insights. The process has helped me to realise I do have emotions, and to start the process of recognising them, expressing them, and doing what I can to become comfortable with them. A lot of my journalling is very personal and I’d not want anyone to read them while I’m still here on this Earth. But who knows, in the future I may meet someone or someones who I’d be comfortable in allowing to peruse my journals.
I’ve not looked back on my journals, not yet, not while I’m still undergoing counselling. They record some of my darkest times in recent years as well as memories of the dark days of childhood, adolescence and earlier adulthood. I don’t think I’m strong enough yet to face them and not be pulled back into a dark place. When I’m ready, no doubt I will read them, and then I will realise just how far I have come along in terms of personal progress. I’m hoping that when I read back through them, I’ll recognise the stages of unfolding my true self, the healing of the wounded soul, the successes rather than the perceived failures.
It was nice to read this article, some of the reasons for keeping a journal echo mine, some don’t. It was also nice to see that other people keep journals too.
Of course blogging is the modern form of diary or journal, however they do tend to be about things we are willing to share with others. Still, there are some things that just need to be kept between a writer and their journal and I hope that the art of journalling or diary writing will never disappear.