“I realize now that journaling has been the one consistent thing that
I’ve done for myself. Through the days of serving and helping others,
journaling has been my way of paying attention to me.”
I wrote those words late last year, through the business of the holidays and work. It seemed like I was caught in a whirlpool of work, chores and social obligations. Nevertheless, I continued to journal and tried to do it during the first few hours of the day. My journal became my sanctuary, far and away from the crazy demands of the world.
“The decision to write a journal has been the most important decision I have ever made because it has led to every other important decision I’ve ever made,” writes Christina Baldwin in her book, Life’s Companion, Journal Writing as a Spiritual Quest.” She continues, “The existence of the journal provides writers with confidence and courage that we can travel as far as the mind allows, and find our way home through the act of writing.”
Journals have been my constant companion, handy therapist and life-long friend. I can’t do without it. If it ever happened that I would find myself marooned in an island, and the gods up there would give me a choice – just one – to choose between a platter of food and a journal, I would choose the journal.
Anne Frank wrote, “I want to write,but more than that, I want to bring out all kinds of things that lie buried in my heart.” Indeed, the journal is a tool for excavating what lies buried within. We can uncover hidden strengths and many unexplored vistas through journaling.
Thomas Mallon, in A Book of One’s Own, People and Their Diaries, goes further and says that people add to their strength through their diaries: “A breed apart from the diarists who write simply to collect the days or preserve impressions of foreign places are those who are out in their books to discover who they really are. They are generally very serious people, more in the way of pilgrims, with inward destinations, than mere travellers… – they want to use their diaries to test, and add to, their strength.”
And to that, I say “Amen.“