I started keeping a journal since I was in fourth grade in Mexico. My first diary was a gift from a friend. I wrote childish things, like any 10 year old would.
I took it to school one day and when I went back home it was gone! I was heart broken. I probably only had a couple of days worth of writing, but I felt traumatized that someone in my class was reading my deepest darkest secrets and probably laughing about them. I felt so embarrassed and angry.
I tried keeping a journal again, but I was always afraid that my dad would read it. He was always curious about what I was writing and thinking. That fear kept me from writing for a few years.
When I was in high school I was gifted a beautiful journal by someone at my church and I began writing. I told my dad he had to stop wanting to read my journals and I used to hide them in different places just in case.
During high school I needed to write, a lot. I had all these emotions and thoughts. I didn’t care if my dad read my journals any more. Now I understand that he was just curious about what I was thinking, he could have just asked!
After high school I kept writing. I filled notebook, after notebook, after notebook, until I had a pretty decent size collection. I was still afraid of my dad reading my journals so I made a terrible decision. I decided my journals would be safer with the boyfriend at the time. Little did I know. After I broke up with said boyfriend I lost all my journals because he would not return them. I still mourn the loss of all those years of writing. In those journals I recorded some major transitions of my adolescence, and they are lost to me.
Now I have a decent size collection again. I write to process things, to find answers, to vent, to record life, to leave something for posterity too. I can definitely say that writing has kept me sane for many years, and it will continue to be my go to spiritual and meditative practice. Being afraid that people will read your journals and violate your privacy was no fun though. I don’t feel like that any more. I write pretty freely, and look! I’m even posting it here on the internet for everyone to read!
What was your first spiritual practice?