Journal as Exploration of Imperfection

Journal as Exploration of Imperfection

Something is WRONG

You know that feeling you get when you realize something is WRONG, and the something is you?

It could be you have a physical reaction like slapping your forehead or clinching your fist. Sometimes that little shock of electrical impulse races through your entire body. You can even find yourself pacing, crying or shaking with emotion.

Perfection is a long way off

You would prefer perfection. And you find you are flawed, imperfect and just plain messed up.

Perhaps you’ve been reckless, thereby endangering yourself and others near you. Behind the steering wheel of a car is where many show their recklessness.

Or, you discover you’ve behaved in a cowardly manner. You know you should have taken a stance and stood up for what you believe in. Instead, you walked away thinking of all the things you “should have said.”

There are times when you feel you’ve failed or are failing. Perhaps you life seems like it is precariously close to stagnating.

It gets worse

It becomes even worse when you begin to realize you have some character flaws.

Have you ever lied, thrown an adult temper tantrum, been quite selfish? How about your need to “win,” to be right at all costs? Have there been circumstances where you’ve been argumentative, stubborn beyond reason or a nit picker? Are there days when you are full of selfish pride, or have you decided to blame all wrong on others taking no blame yourself?

What could go wrong?

Dealing with the not-so-nice things about yourself is difficult yet crucial. It might be your marriage or job is at stake. It could be your ability to influence your children depends on taking care of one or more of your imperfections. Your ability to maintain your customers or clients depends on your dedication to improvement.

Personal, Painful Honesty

Some things that make you cringe come from your personal ancient history and others happened only yesterday. Or an hour ago.

You don’t really have to dredge things up. Often the silly, dumb, stupid ways you’ve behaved pop up in your memory. Sometimes your imperfections are brought to your attention through confrontation or simply taking time to notice.

Journal as Exploration of Imperfection

If you are feeling emotional when you pick up your journal you may decide to simply let the words flow. Once calm is restored, deal with the imperfection issues.

Some things you may try are:

  • Name the imperfection
  • Own up to it
  • Write your apologies to both yourself and others who were touched
  • Think of ways to overcome the shortcoming or character flaws you’ve uncovered
  • Record your plans and solutions
  • Follow up and remember to reward yourself when you deserve it

Too much salt

Have you ever wanted to add a bit of salt to your meal and found the lid to the shaker had been loosened? What a mess!

Understand the difference between using your journal to explore your imperfections as they arise from today’s situations or as they bubble up from memory (a bit of salt,) or trying to dredge up everything you can think of you’ve ever done wrong (too much salt.)

Don’t go looking for disaster. Just as a little salt will enhance your meal, too much will destroy it. Keep your exploration of imperfection focused.

Try this:

  1. Print this page.
  2. Put it in or near your journal.
  3. Use the information next time one of your imperfections jumps up to bite you.
As a lover of words, pens, paper and the dictionary I'm a natural for journal writing. But, I wasn't always faithful to the task and had to learn the hard way. Some trial and error as well as input from my journal writing friends helped move me along. I have a burning desire to help people who want to use and get the most out of their journals and diaries. I see journal writing as a self improvement tool and a way to avoid costly mistakes, bad relationships and my stinky-self. Finding my kindly self is part of the journey which keeps me writing. I Journalate and so can you.

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