Thursday, April 5, 2012

One More Journal for the Shelf, The Spiritual Practice of Reading My Journal, posted by Nancy L. Agneberg

Thursday, April 5, 2012. My last entry in my current journal, and how appropriate that this entry commemorates the 9th anniversary of my mother's death.  I wrote, "The actual date no longer seems quite as important, but missing her is always on the rim of my life, and her presence is in my very core. She is with me like light and gauzy sheer curtains, but also like a missed meal. I sometimes feel hungry for her." 
         The first entry in this current journal was on January 3. "Here I am. I have been home tending for days, it seems, but moving the house into the new year is also moving me into the new year. I don't feel as if I can clear my inner space until I clear my outer space." Soon after this entry I begin my adventure with this new blog. And here I am.
     I have kept journals for over 35 years with few gaps longer than a week or so, and one thing I have learned over the years is that reading my journals is as important as writing them. Whenever I come to the end of a journal, I remember a woman in one of my journal writing classes who gave herself a birthday present to spend the entire day re-reading her journals. She was overwhelmed by what she learned about herself and her life and thereby, added the practice of re-reading to her journal writing habit.  I whole-heartedly endorse that practice. And so I read, and I noted, along with the many events of these busy months, what seem to be the key words and phrases during this time period. 
             Present and Presence
             I am clear.
             I am calm.
             What can the eagle see?
             There is more than one good and right answer. 
     I am aware that I use these words and phrases in conversation and writing.  I appear to be living with these words, investigating and exploring them, rehearsing them, uncovering their many layers. What do these words say about how I live in the world? What direction do they give me? How do these words participate in my ongoing intention (There is that word again!) of deepening my relationship with God, the Sacred, the Holy?
     Today is Maundy Thursday, the night during Holy Week designated in the Christian tradition as the Last Supper.  Jesus gathered his disciples to celebrate the Passover meal, and he gave them a new commandment.
               Love one another.
               And you're to love one another the way I have loved you.
               This is the way all will know that you're my disciples:
               that you truly love one another.
                                  John 13:34-35
Such important words--no matter what your religious affiliation or faith tradition or life philosophy may be. Love one another. One way or another, what I write about in my journal and what's revealed to me as key words and phrases is all about love, about learning to love myself as I am loved and to love one another. 
     What are the key words and phrases in your life right now? I invite you to comment on this post and share your key words and phrases. How do your words reflect who you are and whom you desire to be? Are they words that deepen your understanding of yourself as a spiritual being? Are they words of love? 
    My prayer for you is that today and every day be days of love. 



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