Healing 2 minutes at a time

The Journal and Burn

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Here are three grief facts about me:

1) I’ve attended more grief groups than I can tally.

2) I’ve become a certified Minister of Consolation through the Archdiocese of San Francisco

3) I’ve logged more personal grief hours than I ever imagined possible for one human being.

But whether I was attending the grief group, leading the grief group or walking my own private journey, this one consistent fact has remained true.

We must tell our story over and over and over again in order to heal our broken hearts.

You simply must find a way to get your story out of your heart. It’s a way to clear the hurt and pain.  It’s a way to move from disbelief to belief, so we can one day begin again.

And it’s OK if it begins with tears. 

During my first grief meeting after the loss of my mom, all I did was cry. I couldn’t speak. When it was my turn to talk, I just cried and shook my head.  The leaders said, “It’s OK, maybe next time.”  But what I did next made it possible for me to speak the following week.  I completed my grief group workbook.  I wrote out my feelings.  I couldn’t quite yet utter the words, but I could begin to detach from the pain through writing. I journaled. I cried.  And I began to process and heal my wounds.

It is great to confide our story in our loved ones.  There is something so healing about a true compassionate listener as we talked about last week.   Chances are though, we may reach a time where they are too busy or don’t want to listen anymore. Or, maybe we start to feel uncomfortable telling the same story over and over again.

But if that story is still hurting your heart, it needs to come out until it doesn’t hurt to tell it anymore.

So what do we do then? We pick up our pens and start writing our story out.  We begin to detach from the pain through writing.  The more we write, the more we detach. This is actually my own assignment this week.  I have been a terrible journaler.   I think it stems from me finding all of my mom’s journals when I had to clear out her house after she passed away.  I’m desperately afraid to have someone read my “stuff.”  But as I was told by my amazing healer this week, Dan Bellini, that is no excuse.

“You journal so you become unattached to your pain and experience.” ~Dan Bellini

So I’m putting my excuses away this week.  I intend to go about journaling in the safest way I can for me.  I intend to complete some serious “write and burn” journaling.  I’m going to pull out a blank sheet of paper, journal and write and clear my heart and then burn it. Because that’s the thing, this type of journaling is not for the records.  It’s not for the family transcript.  This journaling is for you and for you alone.  Its purpose is to clear out your heart for you.

So do what feels right.  Buy a special book that you can dedicate to this beautiful story of yours and begin your writing.  But if that feels unsafe to you and is going to keep you from journaling because you’re afraid someone might find it, journal and burn your page each day, like I intend to do.

I am a huge fan of the blog Momastary and in one of my favorite blogs she wrote HERE,  Glennon writes how our cool ashes can no longer burn us.  When we write out and burn up our pain and what has caused it, it can’t hurt us once it’s cooled to ashes.  So if it feels right for you,  join me in this journal burnfest and in turning our pain to ashes.

I want to begin to detach and heal and I would love to do this together this week.  I think I might need the peer pressure and the support too because let’s face it, it’s hard to sit still and to be truthful with our story.  It’s hard to sift through the heaviness in our heart. But as soon as we unload that grief, hurt and pain, we will feel lighter, renewed and ready to begin again.  So who’s with me?



I can’t wait to see your pictures this week of your journals, your shreds of papers and your flames of journal pages.  Do what feels right for you and share it with us.   I intend to share mine with you too!


Love and Blessings,

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