Food for Thought


This Post over at Video M... provided some fodder for rumination. I join the ruminants. It says in part:

If one uses a journal to vent or complain, perhaps that only serves to reinforce the sense of injustice that you feel in being wronged, rather than in forgiving that person and "moving on".

I have kept a journal for 30 or more years and I discover that in keeping the journal I pray more often and more deeply. I pray with pen in hand, waiting to hear what may be spoken.

Yes, I have used the same journals to rake people over the coals, but what I have discovered is that writing out my "complaint" gives me the ability to let go of it. I remember of one particularly unfortunate victim of my pique I wrote,

When you die no worms
will open the windows of your corpse.
You would melt the plastic violets
in an old lady's hat.

It went on from there, but vitriol is best contained in small vials and the continuation was simply bleeding out the rest of the wound. As a result of writing that poem I was able to forgive the person whatever unimaginable harm they had done me.

I use the journal to write "unsent letters" that spell out my grievances in atrocious detail. When I am finished, there is no need to send the letters and all has been forgiven.

But the plus side of a journal far outweighs the minus side. When I reflect on the Bible I can find truths that sometimes I am surprised to stumble over in later years, providentially at a time when I need to remember that aspect of God's Mercy.

However, I can see that a journal can be used to work yourself up from merely made into violent fury--to concentrate venom from a very minor infraction into virulent poison--to turn a mosquito bite into dengue fever. If you do not write as a normal thing, then a journal may serve as a repository of cherished feelings, and among the most cherished are the nursing of some grievous wound dealt you by some callous fraud. I'll be most interested in seeing how Mr. O'Rama plays this out.

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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on August 22, 2002 4:51 PM.

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