The Importance of Keeping a Journal

August 2, 2010

I really feel for the person who goes through their entire life without ever keeping a record of who they really are. I understand the fear of being “found out.” But I also understand the freedom and the joy of being unabashedly WHO YOU ARE.

There used to be times when I would think about how awful it might be for someone to find and read one of my journals. There are no dark and dirty secrets, no skeletons in my closet… yet I still feared someone reading my words. Now, when I think about my boyfriend reading my journal, I think to myself, “well, that’s who I am.” Since becoming more open and accepting of myself, I’ve seen a connection between what I write each morning and what I end up saying or doing that very same day. The thoughts, feelings and opinions I have on paper are the same as the thoughts, feelings and opinions I will later voice, albeit, they are far more disjointed and underdeveloped on the page.

Instead of spending my days scatterbrained and uncomfortable from the endless spinning and drifting of my mind, I capture those loose words on the page. By capturing them, I expose them to the light of day. I make them real and concrete, which automatically allows them to expand. Those little bits, the thoughts, fears, joyful mementos and opinions are mine. They represent me in the rawest and purest form.

More often than not, what I put on the page will become clear or complete either in the moment or later in my day. I struggled for several days over how to launch my new business project, StartupCorner, but when I sat down to journal what was on my mind one morning, I realized I was suddenly creating a clear plan. Sometimes when I journal I am also able to put a name to whatever I am feeling, while beginning to sort through it. If I don’t come to any conclusions while writing, later in the day I will be hit with solutions or a rush of clarity.

If you ever find yourself in a funk or without the ability to make sense of your thoughts or feelings, sit down and write three pages longhand in a notebook or on printer paper. If you can force yourself to write whatever is on your mind, truthfully and completely, by the end of those pages you will find clarity, or at the very least, feel a sense of relief. When you journal regularly you will begin to notice trends as you read back through your pages. You will see where you struggle, what upsets you most and what things make you happy. Through journaling, you will get to know yourself better and begin to live a happier and healthy life.

Do you keep a journal? If so, why or why not?

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