I called a friend I hadn’t seen in years, no, in decades. I saw her on Facebook and discovered she lived nearby. We had been so close once, and then, just like that, she was gone.
She was happy to hear from me and recalled happy times we had spent together. She also recalled why our friendship had ended so abruptly and bitterly. I thought I knew, too. I had been less than a good friend. I didn’t have time for her, so she found other, better friends. I was wrong. She said I had tried to influence her to make a decision that I thought was right, when she had already decided on a different course. It was my disrespect, not my neglect, that had soured our friendship, she told me. I had no memory of this. So I looked for an old diary, written 35 years ago, and it was all there, in my neat handwriting, in blue ink on yellowing pages.
Memory is unreliable. We might forget the things that hurt us. At other times we remember events as being much worse than they were. In this case, perhaps I didn’t want to remember what I had said and done, so I erased the scenario from my mind. I kept a written record, though. And she was right.
Because of keeping a diary I know more about who I was back then, and can track how I’ve changed. Perhaps by re-reading my old diaries I can become kinder and gentler in my judgments of others, as well. The path I took to reach who I am today was crooked and rough.
I tried on many philosophies before I found one that fits. How about you? Do you keep a diary or journal? How has it helped you?