Sunday, April 27, 2014

Why You Should Be Journaling

 Over coffee with friends recently the discussion was meditation and the question arose from one friend to another "Do you keep a journal?" The idea being that sometimes new thoughts, ideas, or solutions to problems come while meditating. My friend's response surprised me, "I don't like to write my thoughts down; it makes me feel vulnerable."

I get that. But here are some reasons you might want to leave a written legacy: 

Maybe the world needs to hear what you have to say. What if all the people whose books and words we read hadn't shared with us what they learned? What if we all had to start from scratch to learn about life because no wise person who ever came before us had bothered to write anything down? What if you have some great wisdom that your child or grandchild needs long after you're gone? Can you imagine the gift your words of hope and encouragement might be to them? What if you have some great insight or lesson to pass on that only you are capable of relating to others? What if you pass from this life and all the lessons you learned on your journey are lost forever? My old journals are filled with lots of anger and sadness on once page and blissful contentment on the next. I look bipolar. But I tended to write when I was experiencing extreme emotion. The regular writing on my blog gives a more accurate picture. I was tempted recently to go through and rip out the negative pages, but isn't that what some future reader may need most? Knowing that even on the darkest days there was hope, challenges were overcome, strength was built in the darkness is a lifetime worth of wisdom all by itself.

Another friend, agreed with me. She explained how much strength she gains from reading about the lives of the saints, their personal struggles, how they overcame them.

Some people are on a path of self exploration and constantly seek wisdom and understanding, like my friends. The responsibility of those people to pass on what they've learned should weigh more heavily upon them than upon those who are just muddling through life, but I dare say, even the muddlers are not completely without knowledge to share.

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