Thursday, 4 February 2010
Journaling with Honesty
Everyone knows that journals/diaries are private. Everyone knows – even if they put the conscious aside – that no one should read someone else’s private journal without permission. We have this social courtesy embedded in us because we believe that private journals include a person’s most innermost thoughts and secrets. But the question is, how much of a person’s true self is placed in their journals? This question doesn’t require an answer so much as reflection. I have been thinking about this quite a lot recently. I know for a fact that my earlier journals were more of a recording of day-to-day events, and outbursts of feelings, usually negative. But just writing about how you love someone, or hate someone, or are upset with someone, doesn’t mean you are sharing your self in those pages. Unconsciously, I censored what I wrote. Not in everything, but in great many things. I realise that now when I look back. Something that seemed either too horrible to write, or something that made me feel guilty for thinking it, I didn’t write it. Writing down those things would be an admission that one thought those things. But if not written, then it would be forgotten. Lately, since I started making more conscious effort to search for self through journaling, I have begun to change it. If my journals are to be a place for my private thoughts, then they must have all of me – good and the bad. If I am to go deeper in my own mind, attempting to unravel the puzzle of my own personality, then I must understand all aspects of my personality. It has been a gradual progress, but I am getting there. As soon as I question whether I should write something down, I do. If it makes me hesitate whether it should be in my journals, then it should. I have come to believe that no matter what your reasons are for keeping a journal, unless you do it with complete honesty, it defeats the purpose. If you keep it for yourself, for memories, for therapy – what good are those things if they don’t show you the truth? If you keep it as a legacy to your descendants – it would be travesty to give them an incomplete picture, because by doing so you are creating a fake history. By doing so you are lying not only to yourself, but to the future. What is your opinion? How honest are you in your journals?