Tuesday, 9 February 2010
Remember your smiles, not just tears
One of my best friends mentioned that she writes in her diary whenever something bad happens. So when she reads her diary, it makes her cry. I also used to record mostly negative things in my earlier journals. It is only natural of course to turn to one's most trusted confidant when things go wrong. When you feel like no one in the world understands you, and all the whirling thoughts in your mind will drive you crazy if you don't get them out somehow, your personal journal/diary is a natural choice. It is a good choice. It gets the words out. It could even be therapeutic. And it's good. But what we must remember that our life - hopefully - does not consist only of those bad moments. There are good days, ordinary days that we don't bother to record because we are of course busy living our life to remember about the poor, miserable journal. While I wouldn't dream of telling people how often they should write in their diary, I do think that we should try to write at least as many entries on good days, as we do on bad days. When I read my earlier journals, it's depressing. But I remember that my life wasn't that bad, and I regret now that I didn't record happier memories that I could revisit. So now, I make conscious effor to record happy stuff, or even everyday stuff. So when I look at my current journals, I might have a more balanced view of my life. I will admit, I am not there yet. My journals tend to obsess about the things I am obsessing about at any given point in time, BUT I am at least aware of it, and I am making an effort. If you are going to re-read your journals then you should take a moment to think about what you want to see in them. Do you want to read about life as it truly is? Do you want to revisit just the horrible things that happen to you? Do you want to read just happy stuff? Personally, I go for the first. Memory is unreliable at the best of time, so having those memories stored on the pages of my journals is as close to a true narrative of my life as I can get. Of course when you are having a bad day, you are not going to think about writing happy things. So do this little thing - go stick a post-it to your journal with a note "write happy things". So when you are happy, perhaps that will encourage you to jot down few words.