Journal your pain.
When I was in the midst of the worst of the worst I found the practice of journaling much like Aloe Vera on a raging sun burn…it cooled and soothed. Betrayal hit my life from different angles—adultery in my marriage, a prayer partner who could not keep this confidential and a business partner who took our money and ran. A life so wonderful one moment, unraveled completely in the next.
I highly recommend journaling for two reasons.
1) Progress can be tracked by reading over previous entries. Because healing is a slow and arduous process, small incremental improvements could have been overlooked had I not journaled. For example: I could tell by my writing that I had moved out of the shock phase where I could not believe my reality, into a place I accepted that my life would forever be changed.
2) Constructive conversation is extremely important through the healing process, and how to effectively manage this discipline will be a topic for another day. However, to vent every negative thought would have created a world with continual turmoil. Rebuilding my marriage would have been impossible, and my children would have been caught in the middle of this ugly vortex. I needed to find a way to vent my destructive emotions without causing further damage. Journaling proved incredibly therapeutic in this circumstance.
The following is a one such entry that epitomizes the value of journaling.
August 12, 2008
Most of the time I’m crazy busy, for good reason. When I sit, I think. When I think, I feel like I could implode. When I feel like imploding, I want to fight. So rather than fight, I write…somehow this helps me process and unload the tension.
I burn off unwanted emotion pouring out my anger, frustration, and disappointment. Yes, it sounds sad and pathetic, but it’s better than venting these harsh feelings verbally. God knows how many of my thoughts are not word worthy these days. Thankfully His love is not in question and I know He understands the pain of betrayal.
I do not spend every waking moment undone, but there are segments of each day I need to vent and work through the pain. I fear if a psychologist analyzed these tortured moments where emotions pour freely it may prove my fragile grasp on sanity.
I used to think myself a strong woman…but now…I feel frail, weak, much like a homeless waif with no idea where I belong. The truth…God is the only strength that prevails. All else is mere dust in the wind.
I now know what 2 Corinthians 12:10 means “For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
God is the only one capable of holding me together these days. He is my only strength.