Last week, I wrote a rant. At the time, I felt like I needed to write it. I was so upset about a world-class hospital’s treatment of my childhood friend in the immediate wake of her double mastectomy that I wanted to “shout” about it.
My grief sought an outlet. My outrage and disbelief and pure confoundedness poured out of my broken heart and onto the keyboard. The hospital became a foil for my frustration over my inability to do much at all as my friend does her damnedest to beat this Stage 4 monster. And once I gave my anger and sadness and pain a voice, I wondered, did I need to publish it for the world to see? Did I want this rant as part of my permanent record? As part of the energy I was putting out into the world?
The whole time was writing, I kept thinking, “Who or what am I serving with this?” My stomach churned and my neck muscles tightened and I knew all along that this rant really served only my anger and frustration. It kept them alive. Fed them. Helped them grow. Yes, it momentarily seemed to serve a purpose, but, ultimately, it didn’t make me feel any better. In fact, it made me feel worse.
I can’t undo the the events that led to my friend finding the determination to drag herself out of the hospital just 24 hours after a traumatic surgery. And wishing for the situation to be different than it was … well, I knew that was a sure-fire recipe for sadness and suffering. And for goodness sakes, I sure didn’t want to be someone who contributed to suffering, especially my friend’s. She’s got enough going on.
My friend told me that at some point for her that horrible day in the hospital, “Something suddenly just switched.” In a split second, she went from tears to tenacity.
So, in this moment, I’m making a conscious choice to keep the rant to confines of my computer journal (and soon may choose to delete it altogether). I’m making a conscious choice to focus on the inspiration I find in my friend’s unrelenting resolve to heal. I’m making a conscious choice to put healing, not hurtful, thoughts out into the world.
How do you choose to use your voice? ………. Grief Coach’s Query I think the desire to vent or rant once in a while is pretty normal for those of us who haven’t yet achieved enlightenment. A journal is one valuable place to let it all out. Some people choose to put their feelings on an artist’s canvas, others prefer a primal scream into a pillow. When you feel like ranting, what conscious choices do you make? Or what choices could you make the next time time you feel like ranting? What outlets do you find helpful?