Another lesson in compassion: finding old journals and being okay with who I was


Do you have any old journals or diaries that maybe, once and awhile, you start to flip through and read the old entries?

I do.

And I will share that 90% of the time, what I am reading almost always hurts my heart. The things I wrote about that I was experiencing, the pain I felt, the outlook I had on life… ugh. Sometimes, it’s really actually heartbreaking to revisit who I was.

I usually dont read into the old journal very far. I flip through it but I am quick to give into the urge of shutting that shit down, and shutting it down fast.

I am either trying to avoid reliving that pain or feeling ashamed and embarrassed to who I use to be.

In the moment thats how I feel.

It’s crazy… capturing emotions and experiences on paper or in the written word in an online journal can take me back so quickly and can make so many emotions flood to the surface. Even ten plus years later. I read my words and I remember exactly how it all felt. The sick feeling in my stomach, the pressure and heaviness in my chest, the fear in my mind…

I’ve read old entries where I have poured my heart out about a guy that I was hurting over. I look at that girl and think, “ew.” Why was I so pathetic?

I want to burn the journal up in flames.

I have actually even done so.

Or, I read back when I was going through an experience that I didn’t think I would make it though, and I come face to face with the perspectives I use to hold and live… and I think, again, who is this person? How could I have let myself live like this?

Again, in the moment of going back, that’s how I feel.

It’s only when I actually take a deep breath and slow myself down from being sucked back into the past – into the hurt and into that fear-based way of living – that I can pause long enough and realize I don’t have to hurt AS that old girl. I don’t have to GO back to those experiences. I can find the current lesson and leave the experience. 

What possibly is there for a lesson? I mean, I’m reading old journals and diaries that make me want to spin in circles wondering how I was ever that person?

Compassion. Compassion is the lesson.

Oh my, oh my, there is that lesson again, coming up for me full force. I think practicing compassion is one of my most continuous lessons of life. It’s always showing up, asking me to practice, in one way, shape or form.

Life reminding me and asking me to have compassion for myself.

If I get caught up in the moment and sucked into that pain when looking back at the girl I was, and I immediately feel NO, I dont want to know her, I dont want to resonate with her… she was weak and sad. I will not go there again.

But the real me, the me I’ve nurtured, grown and become, THIS version of me knows that I need to find and have compassion for that younger, less-awake, unconscious version of myself… I need to have compassion for what was.

My moments and experiences, they are mine. Who I was, I can’t hold against myself. Against who I am now.  I am allowed to have a past. Even if it’s one I don’t totally resonate with now.  

It unfolded the way it did and now the best thing I can do is use it.  Decide that it will not be a place of sadness or darkness I avoid going to, but rather a place to leap from.

I must remember that I couldn’t have gotten from point A to point B, with out first being at point A.

To get good at something, you have to be willing to be kinda crappy at it first.

When I read these old journal enteries, I know that I want to keep those hurts and words safely hidden, away from anyone who might read them, judge them or hurt from them, too. I want to avoid going backwards and reliving the experiences and pains I use to live.


Regardless of what I use to feel, I know now that the best use of my feelings and emotions is not getting sucked back into a lesser, smaller version of myself, but instead to generate compassion and empathy for the person I was, with out unpacking and sadly living there again. Sure, keep the journals tucked safely away…

But be bigger now.

Here and now. Firmly and confidently, all awhile lovingly and compassionately accepting a past I can’t change.

That makes the past easier to live with.

Sending love, hugs and butt slaps…




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