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There are always ups and downs in life. When I was going through a particularly rough time I bought the journal on the left from my local card store. And around the same time a very intuitive friend bought me the journal on the right, from the same series, published by Antioch:

The journal pictured on the left says Believe, Hope, Imagine. The other depicts the Serenity Prayer by Reinhold Niebuhr. Each has a ribbon place marker; pink for Believe, Hope, Imagine, and orange for Serenity Prayer.

Interior of the Believe, Hope, Imagine journal. The journal has an odd arrangement of quotes: inside the front cover has “Wheresoever you go, go with all your heart,” from Confucius; then every page has, in the upper left, a quote from George Bernard Shaw, “You see things, and you say ‘Why?’ But I dream things that never were, and I say ‘Why not?'”; and finally on the inside back cover, “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you’ve imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler,” from Henry David Thoreau.

I alternately loved and hated writing in this; loved the beautiful pages but hated that I was marring them with my ramblings. And my ramblings were varied and long. It was (and continues to be) the story of my journey from trust and love to uncertainty and despair, and back to trust and love through the conscious act of forgiveness. It is a journal of hope and belief that everything happens for a reason, and that hardship defines you and makes you stronger. I try to record only happy thoughts and positive anecdotes now that the crisis has passed. And those notes sustain me when the road becomes hard again, as it inevitably does with the one you love.

The Serenity Prayer journal I have not yet written in. It will probably take the place where the Belief, Hope, Imagine journal leaves off when I fill it up. Even though the pages are less busy I still think they are beautiful. I like the alternating colors from light green to blue.

“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,

courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”