Learning to Forgive…With Journaling
Are you dealing with an emotional trauma or pain that seems to be holding you back from living your best life? Are you struggling to "let go"? Do you feel weighted down with anxiety and guilt about something that happened in the past and feel you just can't move on?
Consider writing about it. Blogger Debbie Rodrigues recommends this in her post on How To Use Journaling To Help You Forgive. Debbie recommends that journaling is a creative outlet to help you release pent up emotions and enable you to forgive and move on.
Everyone accumulates emotional baggage at some point in their life, whether it's from other people, traumatic events or experiences. It can take a lot of time to release these emotions, and if we're not careful, these painful emotions can begin to affect our physical health. (See my blog post Could Your Emotions Be Causing Physical Pain?)
I decided to give Debbie's suggestion a test. Last week, I had to make the very heartbreaking and painful decision to put my cat down. He had developed a very severe illness, that I believe was caused by receiving a vaccine and it went undetected, despite visiting the vet multiple times.
Kitty had to have a costly surgery, during which his little heart arrested and he suffered severe brain damage and seizures during the night. I was heartbroken from losing him and felt tremendous guilt that he suffered so much and that I should have done more.
My fur-baby, Kitty, who passed away.
So, I sat down and wrote about this painful experience. It took me about 30 minutes and during the time I was writing, I had an emotional outpouring recognizing the anger, frustration, guilt and grief I felt. I described in detail, everything about the experience, including:
- what happened;
- who was involved;
- what mistakes I made;
- what mistakes others made;
- how I felt during the experience and now, that it's over;
- what I would have done differently; and
- what I learned from this experience.
After writing a full page, I felt emotionally drained. I had to step away afterwards and let it soak in for a few days. I do feel the process has definitely helped me to become conscious of how I really felt about the situation, and to forgive not only others, but more importantly myself. I am hopeful that this will assist me to move on from this experience. Everyone has their own battles to deal with, and I share this in the hope that journaling can possibly alleviate yours.