Journal Keeping

There have been many moments in life that have knocked me back onto my heels so hard, I couldn’t find words to talk about it, no less write about it. Sometimes it has been grief that has kept me from being able to put it on paper (or a screen). Sometimes its a feeling of being completely unworthy of being read, usually after someone said something to me to that effect.

On the other hand, I am a writer at heart, so trying to bottle up the words makes me feel like–well, exploding. You can’t just stop being who you are.

The best solution I’ve found for such a situation  is to keep a journal. I’m learning it helps me work through a lot of things without having to beat a topic to death in conversation (and yes, I have done that).

It also seems like I get truth out on paper better than I can by talking. Something between the conception of an idea and the action of writing it out longhand on a page makes ideas and conclusions solidify into something more concrete. I don’t get the same effect from talking.

On the topic of diary keeping, I have a funny confession to make. I couldn’t write openly in a diary for over two decades of my life, because I had this morbid fear that anything I wrote in a diary would outlive me, perhaps as a humiliating legacy. This led to a lot of self-censorship, and I think it delayed healing at times.

I guess I’m still not past self-censorship on many topics, but since I started my latest journal earlier this year, I’ve been purposefully writing about the stuff that bothers me. This has changed the journaling experience into a part of my prayer life, with significant results. I would recommend this to anyone.

How about you? Do you have any tips for keeping a diary as a part of your prayer life?


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