Why I Keep Turning To My Secret Journal

The blank page stares back at me. I sit paralyzed on the other side of my computer. My forehead creases and I run my fingers through my hair. What words do I have to offer this world? It’s the recurring thought that surfaces every time I sit down to write to you.

I feel eyes staring at me, watching as my body stiffens up. The crowd tries to muffle their snickers and whispers, waiting for me to say something, anything.

All I can muster are a few jumbled words, a couple of heavy sighs, and my fidgety body. Inevitably, my hands go up in the air and I turn to make my exit off stage. I wish it weren’t so. But it happens more regularly now.

With reluctance, I reach over the side of my chair and grab my secret journal, the one I’ve clung to for the past few months, and give my soul what it needs.


Space to tell its innermost secrets without the glare of any imagined stage lights or anxious audience.

My words aren’t pretty between these crinkly pages. I write fast and messy to catch the complex emotions and wandering thoughts as they seem to run out of me like syrup from a sugar maple. I don’t use a thesaurus to elevate this prose. It stays pure and unrefined. If words had a taste these ones would surely be warm and sticky, straight from the source.

Splattered ink all over the page dances happily into the wild, celebrating the opportunity it now has to run naked and free without a care in the world.

All of me lies exposed between these lines. The stories coming up seem to reveal how I’m finally starting to surrender to the leading of my soul.

The courage required to follow her takes a new kind of vulnerability from me that I am still unfamiliar with even though I claim to be such an open and honest person.

I kneel down next to myself and lean forward into her for a closer look. Yes, it appears these words are indeed mine, and what they convey surprises me more. I see struggles and secrets that have been stored up for twenty years finally seeping out all over. They’ve been waiting for me to bring them forth and behold them with a gentle, welcoming gaze.  

My secret journal is the garden of my soul. I am learning to till up the necessary space for all the varieties of weeds and wildflowers to grow up towards the light.

Nothing can be shunned or hacked down or pulled out anymore. Everything is welcome.

This is who I am and I am coming to love her as she is.  

“The way that I think of love most often these days is that love is space. It is developing our own capacity for spaciousness within ourselves to allow others to be as they are — that that is love. And that doesn’t mean that we don’t have hopes or wishes that things are changed or shifted, but that to come from a place of love is to be in acceptance of what is, even in the face of moving it towards something that is more whole, more just, more spacious for all of us. It’s bigness. It’s allowance. It’s flexibility.”

angel Kyodo williams,
a Zen priest and social visionary who spoke with Krista Tippet on the On Being podcast

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