These are random pages from my private journal as I have written them in the process of facing myself. Journaling has long been a regular part of my personal mode of self-analysis-- that is, one of the ways I have used to discover and hopefully become my fuller self. When I am struggling with a particular facet of daily life, often reflected in unusual or disturbing dreams, I take pen and paper, or more recently, go to the computer, and begin "free associating" about various aspects of my current conflict as they come to mind. Such writing, never intended for sharing at the time, has been a useful way of "finding out what I really think," that is, of recognizing facets of myself commonly hidden to me behind my various roles, habits, images, and general self-deceptions.

I choose to share some of these pages now for two recognized reasons (and perhaps others not yet visible to me): first, to see how I will tolerate and react to "showing my diary." Will I be embarrassed? Ashamed? Scared? Or have I sufficiently "eaten my words" so that my history in these "exposed arenas" no longer dictates my present living? Can I now "let go" of these harder times, freeing myself for greater presence and pleasure in the here and now?

Secondly, remnants of my history as a first son, big-brother, "good boy," trying-to-help-others preacher/counselor-type, obviously remain even though I am theoretically "retired." I fancy, that is, that perhaps my sharing may encourage some other lost soul to utilize journaling as a potentially useful form for "working out your own salvation." Plus, of course, discovering the delightful freedom inherent in finding out that perhaps we don't have as much to hide, or reason to, as we once thought. That we're all basically human after all!

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