As human beings we have an extraordinary capacity that no other being has. We can write. We formulate ideas, expressions, theories, paradigms and feelings and can then articulate them in written form. So many of us keep a journal of some sort. Why do we do this? Why the compulsion to put down on paper that which has transpired, or that which has become revolutionary to our thinking, or even that which has hurt us deeply?
I believe that we write because something happens inside when we do.
Regardless if you write a simple anecdotal journal that outlines your day to day life or you write with the continual intention to share what you have learned with the world – it seems to bring things together in our thinking, consolidating our thoughts that sometimes are otherwise hard to grab hold of. And the busier the person, the more there seems to be a need to journal the workings of the mind.
I often find myself re-reading old journals, especially if I feel I am coming into a new season in my life and am feeling a bit of chaos swirling around, I’ll sit down and find those entries that really spoke to me at the time, and allow my heart to be encouraged and my thinking to come back into alignment.
Regardless of your personal reasons for journalling, the value is in this: as you write, you categorise your thoughts, consolidating your ideas and paradigms. When you see words on a page, you can be sure that they are going to tell you the truth: there is something quite stark about seeing what you’ve written about yourself, especially if you are feeling low that day and then return weeks later, feeling fine, and read it again. ‘Did I really feel that way?’ Sometimes, looking back and seeing how we perceive ourselves can be quite refreshing as we can see how far we have come in understanding our uniqueness, our identity and our place in this incredible world.
Re-reading your journal is a very positive experience. We can define and redefine who we are when we see how we perceive ourselves on paper. I find that in general, I am much more honest with myself in my journal than I am in my thinking, let alone with someone else. Often the very core of the truth is easier to put on paper than to speak aloud. It feels safer in a journal for some reason.
Re-reading your journal is a very good way to determine how you are travelling on your desired path in life. Many people attest to the fact that they are so much more likely to complete their goals when they have written them down. So what about when we write down who we want to be, how we want to live our lives and what we believe about all of that?
I think that by re-reading these things, we can continue to walk that path to becoming a clearer and more defined version of who we are and when we re-read, we can also see where the faulty thinking is. It is actually quite difficult to recall, in perfect detail, what we have said about ourselves, even in just a few days of having said it. But when it’s on paper, it’s there, unmistakable, raw and accurate.
So I encourage you to re-read your journal. It’s great to read self help books and encouraging stuff that gives you tools in building your identity, in helping you to define the best parts of you and walk in that. But there is something profoundly powerful about then re-reading what you have said about you and what you have written about your deepest dreams and desires, because only you have the right to re-write who you are and what you believe about yourself.
Watch the progression over time – it will give you such invaluable encouragement to live the life you were born to live and to be the person you are destined to be!