The story of the ruined journal and the lesson behind it

The story of the ruined journal & the lesson behind its demise (because there’s always a lesson)

by Lindsay on December 29, 2011

in Inspiration, Motivation, Personal Growth

My heart bleeds with the ink (yeah, I'm dramatic)

See that photo? It’s my beloved journal that contained memories from the 2nd half of my 2011. I wrote almost everything in that journal – thoughts, feelings, article ideas, life events, memories. I even glued some clippings from newspapers in there I particularly liked!

So imagine my devastation when I pulled the journal out of my bag one morning only to see that my travel coffee mug had exploded all over it – the ink appeared to have melted all over the coffee-soaked pages, my memories washed away with it. Sure, I hold them in my heart, but anyone who knows me can tell you I can barely remember what I ate for breakfast this morning, let alone how I felt on July 31, 2011 and what was going on.

What lesson could be in the destruction of this journal?  

I put that question out to my Daily Awe Facebook friends (whilst whining some, too) and got sympathy and some theories as to why it happened, beyond just a case of shitty lucky.  I got some great suggestions, too:

  • Think about what I was doing during that time and consider what I’d like to change.
  • “Think of this as a fresh start.”
  • “Move forward and write twice as much!”
  • “Forget the past and come out with your best you in 2012!”
  • “Have one of those really ugly cries where you can’t breathe properly and then try desperately to salvage a few pages!” Okay, that last one was me – I didn’t do that. Honest! 

“No matter how hard the past, you can always begin again.” ~ Buddha

Although my past 6 months weren’t the hardest I’ve lived, I realized that this happening to my journal was symbolic: it is time to let all of the past go and begin anew. As the New Year approaches, this is the best time to do that.

Before you begin to write down your resolutions for the New Year, think about what you’re holding on to from the past that can be released.

Take time to ask yourself:

  • What old emotional baggage am I hanging onto that longer serves me well?
  • What emotions have been weighing me down?
  • What things/people/situations in my life are causing me to stay rooted in the past?
  • What steps can I take to deal with these situations and create a happier today & future?

I want to make sure 2012 is a happy, peaceful, rewarding year for me both professionally and personally. My first step is letting go of the past…but I think I might hang on to my ruined journal to remind me of that from time to time. I never said I didn’t have a flair for the dramatic! 

What are you hanging on to that you could let go of in the New Year? Have you made any resolutions for 2012? Share them here! 

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Julie | A Clear Sign December 29, 2011 at 8:10 am


Your fb post about this reminded me that I have done NO personal writing or journaling in years. I think it’s far past time for that, don’t you?

Lately I have been pelted with messages about drawing my personal line in the sand and creating some serious boundaries. I am not Superwoman! So rather than be overwhelmed with far too much to do in far too many areas simultaneously, I am moving forward by organizing the disaster that others have wrought, and helping them up to a point. Period. Prioritizing and remembering that I have my own mission to accomplish – it won’t disappear if I am busy with other things, but I cannot ignore it, either.

Here’s to a happy, healthy fresh start for the both of us!

Lindsay December 29, 2011 at 9:26 am

Hey Julie – Yes, I do think it’s time for you to start journaling! And by drawing your personal line in the sand, you’ll be freeing up some space in your life in order to be able to find time to do it.

Cheers to a happy, healthy 2012 to both of us!

Tania December 29, 2011 at 10:33 am

I had another friend recently discover that all her journals were ruined, in temporary storage while she was traveling, by rain & then mold. I love my spiritual journals and reading them back over but does that also keep us somewhat defined by who we were at the time we wrote? I don’t know…

Being in the healing/intuitive arts I feel that it is more than just creating personal boundaries. I’ve learned that it is vital that we show the same respect, love & compassion for ourselves as we do for others… then the “boundaries” are there without forcing them.

Wishing all of us a most magical 2012!

Peace & Blessings,


Lindsay December 29, 2011 at 11:13 am

Hi Tania!

Oh my goodness, I was devastated when I lost ONE journal – I can’t imagine going through what your friend did! I love re-reading what I’ve written in previous years. I don’t think doing that causes us to stay rooted in the past, as long as its just an occasional thing and not daily. 😉

You are so right that we need to show ourselves the same respect, love and compassion as we do for others. I have to remind myself of that quite often. Thank you for that!

Happy 2012! <3

Patti Foy | Lightspirited Being December 29, 2011 at 1:12 pm

Hi Lindsay,

Somehow I missed all this on FB — maybe cuz I haven’t been on the computer much over the holidays.

But waah! As a journal keeper myself, I can surely empathize. And ultimately I think your statement “It is time to let all of the past go and begin anew” is the real message of this. I’ve been getting that message myself.

Thanks for sharing this. It sort of underlined my own feelings lately about the letting go being the first and a most important step for taking a journey into the new.

Happy New Year! And may your new journals be filled with all kinds of awesomely good stuff! 🙂

Lindsay December 30, 2011 at 9:15 am

Hi Patti! I think a lot of us have been collectively feeling like it’s time to let go of the past – the New Year is great for that! Happy New Year to you, too! <3

67 Not Out - Mike Perry December 31, 2011 at 11:20 am

I think you are right: sometimes we have to make sure we aren’t clinging to the past. It’s a good time to remember this as we look forward to 2012, which I view with optimism. It may well be a time for change but change can be good.

Wishing you what you wish for yourself in 2012


Lindsay January 1, 2012 at 3:21 pm

Happy 2012 to you, Mike! I hope it’s gotten off to a good start. I agree – change can be good. And it’s the only constant in life! 🙂

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