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Friday, February 25, 2011

Access a Wealth of Information

Here is my treasure of journals
from the eighties till today!
 Who has the most information to help you? You do! You know yourself better than anyone and have all the history of your life experience, hurts, wrong thoughts, dead end dreams, goals and hopes. It’s there within, but accessing isn’t always easy. Read more to discover the best way to use the information you already possess.

I have always loved to write, I suspect all bloggers must. Words have such power! I remember keeping little locked diaries in grade school that were filled with mostly doodles. I began seriously journaling during my sophomore year of high school and have a fairly complete chronology of my thoughts from that time to this.

When I was young, I thought it was a fun way to record the happenings of my life. As I matured, it became a way to give words to my feelings, to process the way I felt when certain things happened. I also learned to make note of my spiritual experiences and the way my faith expanded.

When I was faced with a decision about whether to stay married, my journals provided me with wisdom. The history of my marriage, the interactions with my husband, the questions that didn’t get answered were there in black and white. So much I had forgotten, but when faced with reading my experience I saw that patterns of behavior were so very set from our earliest interactions. I had set boundaries and the consequence was that I would file for divorce. I could look back and hear myself describe the many times I was insulted, hurt, raged at and put down. I could not deny the history before me and this was such a gift.

You see, even when confronted with a serious boundary crossed in what I could live with, my first reaction was to pretend it wasn’t true. But I couldn’t not when I reviewed the history I had kept over the years. It was painful to read of the many times I did not stick to my boundaries and it was tough to stand up for myself and say, “No more.” But I was inspired by the girl who dreamed and the woman who did give chance and after chance. My journals let me see the cyclical patterns of our relationship that would not change unless….well, unless I changed the way I was responding.

I never knew how valuable my journals would be and that has renewed my passion for journaling. I so hope you will try it. It sounds daunting, I know, especially if you’re not a ‘writer’ and trust me – I get it that there is very limited free time in the day. Here are some tips that may help you get started:

Journaling works best for me when I keep the following in mind -

• Don’t make it a chore. I do not force myself to journal everyday because I don’t need one more thing on my “To Do List.” So, I write when something strikes me, when there is an event I want to record or when I’m feeling the need to process emotions about life.

• Do make it easy. Sometimes I make a list, sometimes I write a prayer, sometimes I write down a funny thing that my children did or said. Every now and then I put a ticket stub or napkin from something fun I did, just to remember.

• Dish it like you. Everyone has a unique style and your journal should reflect you. I like the actual “journals” that you can purchase in every bookstore, but you might like an online journal. I’ve tried that and it wasn’t for me…mostly because…

• Divide it up. I like to keep my journal with me most all the time. Then I can steal a few minutes in the carpool line, before church service, during a work break. I’m more likely to actually write something down if I have my journal with me.

• Dream a bit. Every now and then get out of the mundane and day-to-day and write down what you want, really want if there were no limitations. Describe the best you that you can imagine, think of ways to move towards that goal.

Does anyone else journal? Bloggers, is this a form of journaling for you? How private to feel your journal to be? Please comment, and follow me if you want to join this journey.

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