Countdown to 2014 Journal Prompt #4 – Letting Go of Negative Emotions

Have you ever stopped to consider how much space negative emotions take up inside of you? If you imagined the thing that has your belly tied up in knots – worry, fear, shame, sadness, guilt, jealousy – whatever it is, as something dark, and solid, how much of you would be covered with it, filled by it?

Emotional clutter can be as consuming and take up just as much space as physical clutter. Not only does it keep us from being able to make room for the good stuff, we also start to think the negative place is the safest place to live. It’s familiar territory, if dark and sludgy, and it limits the interactions we have with the people in our lives. It easily becomes the narrative.

As I’m sure is common for many people, this tendency to hang onto negative feelings has played itself out over and over again, and the place I find it in the most is in my conflicts with my loved ones and friends. The old stuff is often cannon fodder, as we drag it out and lob it at people in the heat of the moment – “Remember when you…..?”

So how do we let this stuff go? I’ve found that actually visualizing the process helps a lot. Giving negative emotions a colour and shape, and then imagining expelling them, picturing the space they’ve left to make way for the new and good, helps me.

First, though, you have to identify what needs to be let go of. Today’s prompt is about identifying those things from this last year that you’ve been carting around. Maybe it was an argument with someone you love, or a friend’s reaction to something that caught you off guard. Maybe you’ve been carrying that sting and hurt around for a little while. Write these things down, and then let them go. In whatever way you need to. This process of release is personal – there’s no need to talk to the other person, although doing this might pave the way for those conversations. This happens completely in your heart.


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Stephanie Ostermann

I’m the sort of girl who you meet for coffee and end up pouring your entire heart out to. The friend you come to when you need someone to call it straight. No bullshit. No extras. Just truth.

I’m a communicator. That’s a PC way of saying I like to talk, but I also spend a lot of my time listening, and over the years, I’ve developed a sense for subtext – how one or two words can change your entire message, what people are really trying to say and how to weave the varied layers of your story into one cohesive brand message that your clients fall in love with.

When I'm not acting as editor in chief for Vivid & Brave, you can find me geeking out over words here.

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