There is a profound vulnerability that comes with putting your deepest feelings in black and white.
Here are six ways that people who keep personal journals and diaries have handled the issue of privacy. See if you can combine these ideas in a way that makes you feel comfortable keeping your own honest personal journal.
Some Ideas to Keep Your Diary Safe
1. Start each journal with a blank page or a page that indicates your desire for the journal to not be read.
2. Use abbreviations or shorthand when you need to. If you are writing about a particularly negative situation or thought, use first initials or code words to portray the people involved.
3. Keep your journal on your personal computer, if that works for you. You might want to get in the habit of reading the journal through at the end of each year and recording the insights you get from such a process and then deleting the diary file itself. For active journal entries (ie. the present year’s diary) password protect the file on your PC so no one can access it but you.
4. If you don’t like to journal via the computer, you can still get rid of the journal or the year’s journal pages (through some method of destruction) after each year if that makes you feel more comfortable. Just make sure you go through it to get out the good stuff before you do so. You can even delete/shred the journal pages on a more frequently basis: monthly, perhaps.
Of course, if you do this, you’ll miss out on the insights you could gain from reading your journal years down the road. This can be a really beneficial part of the journaling process because you can see how much you have grown and changed. That said, it’s a process I don’t recommend, but if it is the only way you feel comfortable journaling, it might be worth it to you.
5. Keep in mind that your journal is recording your emotional truth, as it is at the time at which you are writing it. If something were to happen to you and your closest loved ones read your journal, they would likely see a portrait of you. We all have these dark thoughts and dark times. If someone who loves you were to read it, it might create even a deeper intimacy between you. Another thing to keep in mind: your journal may be much more positive than you think. Go back and read your journal as though through someone else’s eyes. How do you feel about the person that your journal portrays? We often think that so much of our journal is negative when that is often not the case.
6. Use your fear about your journal being read to gain insight into where you might not be acting completely authentically in your relationships. If you are terrified that your best friend would someday read your journal, ask yourself if there is something about your relationship with your best friend that isn’t being said. Could your relationship with her improve if you showed more of your true feelings?
Nothing makes the journaling process totally secure, but you want to make sure you are comfortable enough with your own level of privacy (and your own system for guaranteeing that privacy) that you continue to journal.
About the Author:
Jamie Jefferson writes for Momscape.com, a website devoted to helping busy moms find balance. She also shares coupons and deals on her
favorite things, from women’s athletic apparel to Amazon’s wireless reading device.