Today I finished writing the last page in a journal that I started in June 2006. It is not that it took me that long to write in one journal. No, I have this habit of bouncing between several journals over the course of many years. Why? I do not know. Maybe I like the cover of one of them and want to start a new page in a new book, so I set my old one aside for awhile. Or maybe, it is because I forget where I put my current journal, and I really want to jot down my thoughts before I forget them, so I grab whichever one I find. This has happens MULTIPLE times. Anyone wanting to track my journey would feel jostled back and forth between time. But this one I’ve been consistently using for the past year, and it has now come to a close.
Enter new journal. The first page of my “new” journal is dated March 9th, 2007, just over nine years ago. Only one page is filled. This journal was a gift from a dear friend of mine, and while I remember who gave it to me, I can’t remember if it was a birthday gift or a Christmas gift. Regardless, he knew I love journals. I don’t think he knew it would take me almost ten years to finally use it on a regular basis! The cover is what I love about it. It is white with bold, black lettering that reads: “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you’ve imagined.” – Thoreau
Now, I will share with you what is written on the first page, but please spare me the teasing…even though I deserve it! The picture I took today of my mangled mane flopped over my head will make more sense as you continue reading. Here goes:
12:15am. Preface 03/09/07
This will be a book about passion. It will be chock-full of romance. The spelling may not always be perfect, and the grammar…well it may not exist. But here is what is certain: It will be raw, emotional and definitely overbearing. If we all are honest, would we not find that deep down we are all overbearing? If we allowed ourselves to think, feel, and act what is truly within us, would it not be raw, untamed and utterly beautiful? And by beautiful, I do not mean lovely, but something terrifying.
I wish I could remember the dialogue from “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.” The children ask Mr. Beaver, “Is he safe?” when they learn that Aslan is a lion. And he replies to this effect: “Safe?! No! He’s not safe. But he is Good.”
The inner life a person is like a lion…unsafe. And, I would probably agree with those that say it is not good either. What I do believe is that it is not good to leave the lion inside. Terrifying? unsafe? Yes. But explosively beautiful when expressed freely in a form that is constructive.
Here I am trying to be all philosophical and I have tissue shoved up both my nostrils. I look comical…not a doubt.
Back to the preface. I think I am becoming a firm believer that expression of the inner life is of extreme importance. Yes, propriety and manners have their place. But they should not become prisons but channels instead. So…the following pages will be an inner life without walls. Maybe.
There you have it! You have just been privy to the first page in my journal, albeit a very old entry. My takeaway is this: Let that lion out. Take risks. Love large. Be terrified and terrifying. But above all, be good. Be kind – to yourself and others – and give yourself the same grace you extend to others when they let their lion out.