I LOVE stationery. Beautiful papers, a great pen, a gorgeous journal, even a stylish pencil box, all have me feeling warm and fuzzy. I'm old enough to remember when Trapper Keepers launched and I couldn't imagine a better invention! Today, I don't need a single thing at the Paper Source, yet I want it all.
Yet the other day I was having a conversation with a client and she was talking about the fact that she couldn't write in her journal, because it had to be perfect. I can be a perfectionist, too, so I understood the quandary. You buy a beautiful journal to inspire you to write all the words, but then godforbid you need to draw a line through something or your handwriting turns to scrawl.
It seemed to me that there are a couple of choices. Ideally, we let go of the need to get it right and just write, fulling accepting and loving the mess that we are working out on the pages. This in itself is the lesson, of course, that we are already perfect as we are.
The other idea is to buy a lesser journal or notebook to remove the "preciousness" of the container. Beauty is in the discovery, not in the spiral bind, after all. I use the Notes app on my phone a bunch and trust me, I don't find it pretty, but it is useful.
I'm a fan of the first - get the beautiful journal and know that your words, thoughts, desire and hot messness are all deserving of the very best. You are worthy and wonderful as you are, and your journey is a story that deserves a gorgeous cover and a favorite pen.
Look yourself in the I
The other part of our conversation had to do with the power and perspective of writing. My dear client realized that it was easy to write "you" on the page, but writing "I" was so much harder. Admittedly I was not surprised as while no one will check our work, there is a whole other level of personalization and honesty that happens when we write in the first person.
The other equally powerful aspect has to do with compassion. To write yourself in the story as "you" is to judge yourself, to let the voices in your head take turns telling yourself what you're doing wrong. It's really a form of self-attack and often includes phrases we would never say to a friend.
Whereas to say "I" in your journal invites vulnerability and honesty to take the pen. It's scarier and it takes some practice getting comfortable. To this, I encourage you to borrow a virtual pen from a younger version of yourself and remember when you would begin, "Dear Diary, today I ..." That version - real or as seen on TV - only cared about emoting, about getting it all "out." Not a bad way to get started, eh?