I know they are bad for me. Bad for my journaling mojo. Yet my mind fills with them and I can’t but help listening to them. I’ve been fighting them all my journaling life, and even though it is the idea to not have any rules, the reality of my own journaling is very far away from the no-rule-perfection.
I have good days and bad days. Sometimes, I am so deep into my journaling that all I see are my ideas flowing out onto the page. The ideas are so enjoyable by themselves I don’t care how it looks or whether it fit nearly on the lines – I positively enjoy my words span over several lines. Ideas tumble out completely out of order and I love how they always come out backwards in its explanations.
Then other days, I struggle with what I am writing and the only thing I notice are the physicality of what I am writing. That the writing is not of my neatest handwriting. There are lines I must fit in to. My writing must follow a logical order or else it has no value. And of course I cannot start on a new page for a new idea that just popped up, I still have half a page left on the page I am writing on!
I admire those that can say they have no rules in their journaling. I warmly congratulate them for the hard work they must’ve put into their journaling to get to that stage. I aspire to be like them. I totally agree with them when they say we should have no rules in journaling. Yes, absolutely! That is the ideal goal. To be totally free at least in our journals.
But I am not there yet, and I know many others that aren’t either. We need a place to belong in this mid-life of our journey too. A place where we can share in our struggles with these rules. Somewhere where we can say ‘hey, I’d love to join the no-rule camp but I’m not quite there yet and would love some support and guidance in getting there.’
To struggle with personal rules (about anything) we have built up in our lives, the ones that are no longer working for us, is extremely lonely work. It’s easy to feel no one else would understand how hard it is to fight the expectation of ‘you must journal every day.’ Or how hard it is to shut the voice up that say ‘your handwriting is so awful.’ What we don’t know is that man people are out there, suffering from very similar rules to the ones we are suffering from.
We need a place where we can say ‘hey, I am having a problem letting go of this issue, I know it’s not good for me, but it’s so hard to let go of it’, and someone else to say ‘hey, I have that rule too and it’s soooo hard to get rid of it. I did try this thing and it helped, maybe it will help you too.’ There needs to be a space for that conversation to take place. That place also needs to be somewhere where no feeling of shame is brought upon us. Yup, it’s great that other people are not struggling with this anymore, but we are, and we have the right to have our space in which to express that pain and help each other heal from it.
So here I am. Hi, My name is Akiyo, and I am a journaling rule addict. I know they are not good for me and I am trying very hard to get rid of them, but I am feeling lonely in this battle and it would be great if others could join me.