June 14, 2020
During this long journey of social distancing and spending more time alone, one of the things that I have done is journal and let go.
I was recently having a long and fulfilling conversation with a friend of 36 years about this time in Covid and she said she was trying to journal in one of the many journals that I’ve given her throughout the years and commented on how difficult it was for her. She knows me well enough that I have been journaling all my life and asked my secret to being able to journal.
To be honest, it’s not pretty! My frame of mind is that I am writing between God (or any higher power) and myself with hopes to receive some guidance, grace or clarity by the end of the entry. I allow myself to write in terrible handwriting (yes, I had to take lettering classes in grad school, so this is big for me) and then I just let go. Sometimes I sketch something, an image or graphic to represent a strange dream or relationship. It often is painful and raw, but I always feel cleansed and clearer by the end.
I have a large box that locks where I keep my journals for sheer fear that someone will read them – like I said, they are not pretty. During Covid, I’ve been going through and re-reading them from the most current backwards then… burn them. It is liberating and healing as well as I have shown myself my own story and everything that I have learned through decades. I am also keeping another journal that I write down what was happening that year, what I learned and typically tear out a page from the old journal or a card kept from that year and attach it to the journal. This new journal is for my children to read when they are ready. It holds truth and wisdom.
Some of the journals I have kept in their original state like 1996, the year my mom died, and we were beyond broke. I want my kids to know that when we were young, we struggled with finances, miscarriages, friendships, marriage, parenting and family just like everyone else. While difficult to read, I think my kids might like to know how I was feeling and how I moved passed our challenges. Our children only see what we show them and what they are able to see in the present, showing them a glimpse of the past helps them to know that their journey is their own, but it has also been traveled before.
My current journal that is beautiful and bought from Gus & Ruby – this one I intend to keep and I’m filling it with exploration and discovery. Then I have a complete mess of a journal that I have on my phone – I figure deleting the app might be easier than burning them. Journaling for me is about letting go so that I can live and learn. I hope you find a journal journey that will work for you as well because we all need to have tools to keeping our mind, heart and soul balanced.