I use to keep them in the beginning but one day about 25 years ago, I looked at all those journals gathering dust on my bookshelf and thought, "Why am I holding onto these? I've lived the experiences, I've learned from them, now it's time to let them go." So, I bagged them up and tossed them in the dumpster.
Live it, Learn from it, and Let it Go!
I suspect this revelation coincided with my immersion in Taoist philosophy. I do know that it had a wonderful and liberating feeling to me. I know many feel that their journals are such an important part of their lives they just couldn't imagine throwing them away. My daily photo journal is another way I record my life. Life lived one photograph at a time. If I can have a book made of these daily posts I will...these are meant for the "public". My written journal is too personal and private.
I write every day in the morning. It is every bit a part of my morning ritual as that first cup of coffee. On the rare occasion that I can't write I feel half dressed. Something is missing. Writing, whether on paper or on-line, is part of my contemplative practice and I will continue to do it as long as I can hold a pen but I feel no need to save them. I do re-read them after I fill up a journal. Some of it makes me laugh and some of it makes me cry but I close the cover with the firm belief that it is past. Those experiences were then and, well, now is now.
Your past experiences may
have made you who you are
today but their don't dictate
who you will be tomorrow.
Here is an interesting article on the health benefits of journal keeping that you might find interesting. Whether you decide to keep those journals or not will be up to you...