Ask Mary: Venting & Positivity

Ask Mary: Venting & PositivityI used to be a positive person before my loved one died, but now I seem to be constantly venting about what isn’t right and it makes me sad. Can you help me change this habit?
 You’re lonely without your loved one and just for now, complaining can make you feel better – if done within limits.
 The very word “vent” tells us that letting off some pressure can be cathartic and necessary. It’s easy to tell whether you need to vent or if you are venting too freely. You’re not venting enough if you refuse to share intense emotional issues of anger, grief and suicide. Talk to people you can trust, even if you have to find a therapist or support group. Believe me when I say that you will feel better once you have a safe place to vent away your frustrations.
 On the flip side, you are venting too much when you complain about something constantly without doing anything to change or accept it. Consistent venting can become truly toxic and creates a sense of powerlessness that causes even more venting.
 The cure for excessive venting is confronting the issue and using all your energy to push through your fear to reach for positive change. If something is unfair, stand up for change. If it’s in the past, let it go and if it’s in the present stop venting and do something about it, or let it go.
 Get some paper and write a letter to yourself about what’s really bothering you. Don’t hold back, list all your anger, disapproval and anger. Just doing this will let off enough pressure to help you think more clearly. Now get a second paper and describe the way you feel about each item on your “bothering you” list. Don’t lay blame but instead just describe in detail what’s happening and your feelings. On your third paper write out what must change for you to remove the item from your list. What steps can you take to change or release it? Also, write out what happens if you don’t take action and instead just continue to vent about it.
 Now that you’ve clarified exactly what steps you need to take and what will happen if you don’t, you can get past your fears and disappointment to end victim venting.   But, remember positive venting is healthy, helping us to live a bolder life – so the choice is yours. For more info or questions, mary@thesisterhoodofwidows.com.