My very first journal entry was made when I was 6 years old before I couldn’t even write!
I remember dictating what I wanted to be written down to my older brother. He reluctantly but carefully scripted the words I spoke.
The tape is a bit yellowed and has lost some of its stickiness but it still holds the tattered piece of leather cut from an old purse wrapped around a classic bound Mead school notebook. The words “My Journal” are lovingly etched across the front.
Although somewhat faded, those first penciled words as well as other later ones by my own hand, can still be read. The emotions expressed about the death of my uncle, my first day of Kindergarten, my first plane flight across the ocean, the death of my grandpa, and other momentous experiences of a young girl, can still be deeply felt, each time the fragile notebook is opened and read. It is a priceless personal treasure to behold.
My journals nowadays are not as handcrafted as that first one. But each one, and I have many, all contain the words of my heart and mind. They are a record of the events of my life. They hold within their pages my hopes and dreams and joys as well as my fears and worries and struggles.
Every journal I have is a personal treasure filled with valuable contents of my life, for my life and for the life of my children and future posterity.
So why do I keep filling up so many journals with my penned words?
Here are 5 reasons why I keep a daily Journal.
- It’s a record of the events of my life.
No matter how good our memory may be, we forget things that happen in our lives. Writing them down in a journal ensures that things get recorded as they happen. Details and emotions expressed. Then they are always there to go back to and recall when needed or desired.
2. It provides a way to express my feelings that can’t be done otherwise.
Sometimes we just need to say things about ourselves, our life or others that we wouldn’t and shouldn’t necessarily say out loud. A journal provides a safe place to express such emotions. Keeping pent up emotions inside isn’t always the safest and healthiest thing to do, physically or emotionally. Knowing that nobody else will read or hear what is written there allows us to openly and honestly release and say what is truly in our heart. And if at some point in time we ever do want anyone to know of those feelings…they can still be freely expressed without having to actually say them…as we allow another to read them and open up for greater conversation and understanding if needed.
3. It’s a means of measuring personal growth and change.
Being able to go back through old journals and read of the various goals and dreams penned in our youth, or even just a year, a month or week earlier, can be quite enlightening. It allows us to see where we are still stuck and what things we continue to struggle with. It shows us what things we have clearly overcome and how we are progressing. It motivates and inspires us to seek help where we need it. It gives us courage and strength to keep growing and changing through lives great experiences.
4. It makes for a great story to read! Full of comedy, tragedy, adventure and drama.
Our lives are so full of amazing experiences, remarkable feats, difficult challenges, heartbreak, great adventure, laughter, love and so much more. Keeping a journal is a way of publishing our own personal novel of such an adventurous, romantic, tragic, comic life! You may think your life is boring and that you don’t really have anything grand to share but if you get in the habit of writing of your daily adventures, over time you’ll start to see what a truly remarkable life you lead.
5. It’s a way of leaving my mark of my existence here on earth.
If you don’t record what you did, what you thought, dreamed, hoped and accomplished here on this earth…Who else will? Of course you will still leave your mark of your life in the hearts of those you blessed and loved. But having something written down, something to pass on to future generations is a legacy to leave like no other. Even the mundane things we experience will become things of wonder and awe to those who follow after us.
I love writing in my journal. It’s something I’ve been doing every day for years. I personally still like to hand write, with pen and paper. The very act of such writing is quite cathartic for me. And I will continue to do so until my hands can no longer write and then I will probably once again just as I did the very first time before I could write, I’ll have someone else pen the words for me.
The way I choose to journal is just one way. There are so many other ways.
Here are just a few simple suggestions.
Set up a word file and start typing away.
Voice record your experiences.
Keep a file of your social media posts you share.
Create a scrapbook of memories, notes and photos.
Start a personal blog.
Set up a video camera and just start talking about yourself and your life experiences.
And if you need some ideas on where and how to start:
Think of your earliest memory and just start writing. Then move on to the next one and keep going from there.
Start with today and write what you experienced and felt. There’s no time like the present!
Write about all the places you’ve traveled to. (Or want to travel to). With who and why.
Write about the schools you’ve been to. The teachers you had and what you learned.
Tell about your family. Where you were born and grew up. What it was like growing up in the family you did.
Well, I could go on and on but hopefully you get the idea. Just pick one or come up with another one that works for you and stick to it. You and all those who follow after you will be glad you did.
Whether you’re a long time faithful journal writer. A once in awhile one or just thinking about starting. You’ve got something to say and share.
So say it!
Write it down. Record it. Leave your mark.
Share your brilliance and light with the world.
Share your comments here with me!