Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Lessons From a Lost Journal

Photo by Scott Miles Love
At the time that I put up the last post, I was on a road trip across the country and was still in the process of writing what I had intended to share.  Read the finished product below:

I lost my last journal on a flight home.  This one was extremely personal, more so than the others.   In it, I wrote about beliefs that I've allowed to limit me, innermost fears, and past experiences that I still feel guilt and shame about.

I searched high and low for it.  Then I realized that my worst fear was true.  It was gone.

A deep funk crept up on me and I went through nearly a month long period of grieving.  I simply could not function.  I couldn't write another word.  There are plenty of other empty journals around, but I wanted MY journal back.

How could I have been so careless with something so private??  Why wouldn't I check to make sure that I had it before I deplaned?

Then I thought about someone reading all about me: stuff that I've held onto for a lifetime, stuff I've told to very few people, stuff that I've thought, but never said out loud, and it just killed me.

I wasn't ready to "share" any of that, but what choice did I have?  What if someone read it instead of tossing it?  Did they share my brand of crazy with others?  Did they all have a good laugh at my expense.   Did they cackle at my exposed feelings?  Judge my not so finest hours as harshly as I had?

Or maybe, there was something on those pages that spoke to them...

Maybe my words gave them a sense of solace in knowing that some stranger (me) had made big mistakes too.  This stranger had done things for which they weren't proud.  They too exhibited old wounds and scar tissue from living, but despite all of that, they're still standing.  Those words were written as a way to release the pain, to experience forgiveness and peace.    

There was a huge lesson in this experience and I'll share it with you here. 

There is nothing that truly belongs to us.  There is nothing for us to keep.  Not possessions.  Not secrets.  Not these bodies.  Not these gifts or talents.  Not life.  Nothing.  None of it is ours forever.  What we've acquired is only here for now and all of it is meant to be shared.  

We aren't in control.   These things have the power to exist forever, but not within our possession.  Ask yourself what's the purpose of keeping these things to yourself?  Why hoard it, guard it, sacrifice life and limb for it?  Why spend so much time and energy doing that when we can't take any of it with us?  It could all be gone within a blink of an eye.  

Against my will, my journal was gone, thus I was exposed.  I wrote things in it that I've hidden even from myself, that I finally had the courage to put out there, on paper, and now it's wherever it is.   As much as this hurt me, it taught me that our true purpose is to give: these lessons that we're learning, our joy, our pain, our light and our darkness, all of who we are.  This is what creates a legacy of which to be proud.

Through giving we get back tenfold.  Then we give that away too.  Closed hands can't grasp new blessings.

I thought that I understood everything about my intention.  I intended to let go of emotional baggage, weight, the past, old wounds, clutter, and things that no longer serve me.  Now, this intention has shape shifted.  Now I know that I have to let go of my attachment to everything, not just the negative and painful stuff.  EVERYTHING.

Oh.  My.  God...  I can finally see it!  

Next destination: Surrender... 

1 comment:

  1. in losing your journal you were relieved from your pain. your fear. your guilt. your shame.