Journaling FAQ: What do I do with Old Journals?

The truth?

 

I keep every

single

 

one.  

 

Why?

I keep my completed journals to reread, pull notes and ideas from for upcoming projects,
and to remember who and where I have been so that I can keep moving forward in the ways that "forward" looks for me
(because forward doesn't look the same to everyone).  
Furthermore, I've learned that if I don't keep track of what I have told myself in the various chapters of my life
I'll lose track of what I'm believing in/for with regards to my future.
Each of my journals contains a piece of a blueprint to what I'm meant to build with my existence.  
And I don't mean I'm always writing business plans and brand ideas or journal sketches;
I mean that my words, my resolves, and the documented discoveries about the spaces my soul has
occupied and the decisions I've made while passing through each one
all pertain to how I am building myself up towards who I'm meant to be.  
I need to know how I have survived what I have faced because
the mechanism of my continuation, the fuel I chose to fill with and push forward,
the name I've called God by,or the locations of the oases in my spirit
are all referential. They are the artifacts of my survival that let me know 



But I do have many cringe-worthy moments in my journals.  
There are a LOT of documentations that I'm almost embarrassed to read
because I can't believe that I once thought a certain way, believed certain ideas about myself, DIDN'T believe in myself, 
or let certain chapters of my life by dictated by fear and timidity.  


Nevertheless, I am glad I documented within the framework of these regrettable life moments
because I can decide better for myself today.  

Now, I've heard from many that they can't/don't want to re-read their
old journals because they're ashamed of what they may have written or fear their old writings
will dredge up old pangs and pains, causing a bit of PTSD.  
I'll offer this: be wise and remember RESPONSIBLY.  
If you feel your old writings are still too close to home then don't read those journals.  
The whole point to having old journals at hand is to have an archive of
proof that you have life documented, to be able to avail yourself to
one day being able to pick one up and say
"See? I wrote myself here!"

The freedom in reading through old journals is also noting the things that don't have to proceed with me,
what I can leave right there on the page and never have to take up again because
that Chimene is gone, that woman is no longer relevant, that identity has expired.  

You have to know what to hold onto and how to hold onto it.  
This is what makes your journey different from mine, from another's. 
By going through old journals we keep the threads of our life's textile in order;
we keep our rivers flowing towards our ocean;
we keep track of who we have been and what we have learned on our journeys.  
We have come too far to forget that we've come too far. 

This is why I keep old journals.  What about you?