The Vent Journal: Making Room for Positivity

Our first year of marriage (2010), Kevin and I read parts of a devotional called The Love Dare.

One particular exercise from this book stood out the most.

The exercise was to write down all the little things and idiosyncrasies that bothered us about our spouse.

I thought: This is great! We will lay it all out there and deal with it right away!

I wrote my list and then folded it up for the next day.

The next day the instructions were simple….rip up the paper.

What?!?! I reread the page to make sure I didn’t miss the part saying, “Read the list to your spouse.”

Nope. Just rip it up.

Kevin did not hesitate for a second. He ripped it in a hundred pieces and threw it all away.

I hesitated.

Eventually I realized the point of the exercise and ripped it up.

The point was to get all those feelings and annoyances out. But sharing them would have felt like a roast and brought lots of negativity.

I learned the importance of getting it out but also getting rid of it…for good.

So I have a Vent Journal.

When I am mad, insecure, sad, frustrated, etc, I write it down.

No editing or censoring. Just get it out. Then I close the notebook and leave it for a day.

The next day I rip the page out and shred it. It is a new day.

Sometimes I reread it it first and hardly remember feeling those feelings. But I know they had to come out.

By releasing that negativity, I make room for positivity.

Positivity is not faking joy. Positivity results from choosing to release our negative thoughts and feelings.

When Kevin ripped that paper without hesitation I felt so loved. He could see past the negative.

So if you want more positivity in your head, get the junk out first.

And truly let it go.

Write it on real paper and rip it with your hands.

Make room for positivity.


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