• Jen de Azevedo

Notebooks From The Past (The Good, The Bad And The Ugly)


I found this entry in an old blog of mine from 01/02/2011.

-Just a few days ago I was looking through an old bag and found a past journal of mine. I flipped to the middle and started reading. Instantly I felt sick when I read the first entry.


"Feb. 19 '09 .....I feel betrayed and scared and alone. I never expected to be in a situation like this. I cried so hard I threw up. I don't think I've ever been so sad, angry and scared in my life. What am I going to do?"


I'll leave all the details out of it, but that was the start of the circumstances surrounding my divorce. What a terrible place to be.-


Journals, notebooks and diaries can be therapeutic. I write my gratitude, and to clear my head every day. However, some notes from the past can be toxic. At a class I was coaching recently, we discussed how some things from our past can invoke such horrible memories (much like the notebook mentioned above) that they should be disposed of. One class participant told a story of when she was going through a very difficult time in her marriage and she had journaled daily. She admitted she held on to the journals in case she ever needed proof of the horrible things her husband had done and the difficult things she'd been through. In the years since they went though this difficult time she noticed a horrible feeling every time she went into the basement and walked past the bag of notebooks she held onto "just in case she needed them". The stack of journals not only reminded her of a horrible time in her life, but was also a stumbling block to the forgiveness and growth and the healthy relationship she wanted. How could she move forward and hope for the love and trust she desired if she wasn't willing to let go of the past and forgive?

I could write about forgiveness for days...months...years, but this post is about healthy vs. toxic journals. Some journals are like a treasure from the past of answered prayers and beautiful memories and lessons learned from mistakes and bad ideas. Hang onto those! However, if you have a notebook sitting around that gives you anxiety and depression every time you see it, it might be time to burn that sucker!

As for the journal I mentioned in my 2011 blog, I got rid of that thing long ago.


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