A week or so ago, I wrote up a little short story on my anger journal. I felt like I should expand on that, considering it is working so well for me.
I know people keep gratitude journals, and I have to be honest, it’s never worked for me. But a few weeks ago I was watching a brief video by a monk. He gave a demonstration on letting go, using paper, pen and flame. Explaining that we cannot undo that which is done, but we can lessen its impact.
Words have power.
It resonated with me. I’ve been struggling with writer’s block, anxiety and unresolved, deep anger. And when Bixby was the victim of what was basically veterinarian incompetence that almost killed him in April, I went over a little cliff. When he began to get better, that’s when the adrenaline came down, and the anger ratcheted up.
That, combined with some other situations over the past year, created this cascade of anger and I had no idea what to do with it.
The idea of an anger journal had appeal. Just somewhere to put it all until I could find a way to deal with it in some way. I grabbed a blank notebook and dived in.
I wrote with violent fervor all that I felt I had no control over. Putting the angry thoughts down with pen onto paper, but also dumping all the energy behind it into the pages. Then I would close the book and walk away.
And there those words and all that angry energy stayed. I didn’t have to carry it. It was in a safe place, and if I needed to pick it up again, it waited for me.
I continued it for a week, every night I’d write down what I could not let go and then set it aside. It was a revelation. Each day my creativity got stronger, my energy was up, and I found myself genuinely happy throughout the day.
On day seven, I tore the papers out of the notebook and burned them.
And for the first time in months, I was back on track. Trying to suppress any emotion is like a cork in the bottle, it blocks everything, and it’s exhausting. The worst is it has no choice but to spill out at inappropriate times, with undeserving people.
I am still journaling. Still filling the notebook. Still burning the pages. But as the weeks have gone on, there are fewer angry words, fewer pages, as the energy dissipated.
You can have your gratitude journal, but for me, my anger journal is just what the monk ordered.