Question: Worth Recording the Bad?

If you’re around the internet much, you’ve probably seen the meme floating around of writing down the good things as they happen to you, putting them in a jar and then at the end of the year, pulling out the jar and reading about all the wonderful things that happened.

I think this a lovely idea and have written down a few things for this year (in case I decide to really do it, I want to be prepared, and if I decide not to keep going, well, it just cost me a few scrps of paper, some pleasantly-focussed contemplation and a few seconds of time).

It suddenly occurred to me this morning, and I will grant you that it may well be my cold-infested mind and body doing the thinking today rather than the normal almost-logical one, to wonder what would happen if I recorded the things that piss me off?  That anger me, make me snarl and growl and hate myself or someone else?

To be clear, I’m not talking about looking for every little annoying thing possible to record.  This would be for the things that I’m already not letting instantly go of.

Would I be amplifying the negative feelings?

Is that even possible if I’m already dwelling on them for periods of time?

Or would it take them outside of me?  Help me to let go more?

If I did both at once, would one jar outstrip the other?  Would I make conscious choices to focus on the positive?

What do you think?  Is this an experiment worth trying?

8 thoughts on “Question: Worth Recording the Bad?”

  1. I will just say that if I had a “negative jar” I would dwell there. Journalling seems like a better choice. Then you have free flow and you can work out some of the stuff that you’ve written about. Keep the jar for “positive things”. Hmmm, seems like the kind of advice one gives rather than taking.

  2. This makes total and complete sense to me, and I think I may do it myself. In our attempt to balance ourselves (all our selves) and our lives, are we not beholden to ALL the truth, rather than only part of it?

    A jar of each I say! Let the levels happen organically, allow the flow to alter the dynamics of how things appear and are perceived as belonging in those jars – and how the numbers settle out is also a legitimate observation.

    THIS actually excites me – the focusing on the good things only seems much to naive and akin to a form of happy blinders. From my perspective, some attention on the negative is what allows focus (a lot or a little or none) on those things which we accept and those which we wish to change or transform.

    If we practice gratitude daily, then the positive is already a focus, but metamorphosis comes from changing those things which are not in accord with us.


  3. Sparrow, I hear yeah, but what I find for me is that I already can easily dwell in the negative. Or to clarify, when I fall into dwelling, I fall deep, hard and long into it (though thankfully on many things I just let them drift past with barely a nod). Which arguably could support your argument, as the concern becomes whether it would increase the negativity.

    SirsPixie, thanks. Your positive response I think has tipped me over into actually trying the experiment, not just thinking about it. Now to find two jars that are appropriate. And where they shall go. As you know, I’m a balance freak, and how we handle the bad is surely as important as how we handle the good?

  4. in a word yes…. a negative jar would be a nice balance to a positive one.. i am all for the balance to. i also wonder about the negative stuff that is put in, and what comes to mind is that it is not just about a shitty day as such but more about *ponders this*.. maybe negative things that need to be released.. so that what you put in the jar is negative shit that no longer adds value err but that is not quite right… *ponders more* this would be so much better if i could wave my hands about… my feeling is that when the jar is opened and the stuff is read a bunch of it will be stuff that was overcome, delt with etc etc.. and what is left will be the next bunch of lessons so to speak.. or something along those lines…

    *ponders this*

  5. I have written down things that hurt and pissed me off that I had difficulty letting go of, but then I put them in one of two places … my cauldron where I burned them to help release them or set them free, or in a box on my altar, also releasing them by offering them to the Goddess who can then change their energies as She deems best. I think putting them in a jar and holding on to them would keep you linked to them. It would be like praying for what you didn’t want.

  6. Thanks, Polly & Moon Magic. So many interesting thoughts around this. Writing down the bag things is a form of release and removal from self. Keeping them in a jar, potentially keeping it around? Or can it be used in a memento style?

    What of putting a spell on the jar for working to deal with things?

    But then, in the interest of balance, does a spell go onto the happy jar?

    Or is it all one jar of life that gets divided at the end of the year?

    How much power does a written representation of a thing hold? Is it solely based on what we put into it? Do we treat the positive and negative with differing methodologies (which is what likely led to the happy jar in the first place and definitely what started this post)? And much more interestingly, how does our attitude differ and is this a case where working towards similarity is best served or towards difference?

    So many interesting questions…

  7. There is a ritual you can use that would be perfect for this! Toward the end of the year, build a fire outside under a full moon. After cleansing, grounding, calling upon the available energies, etc. (however you do it) open the negative jar and read, one by one, resolve to let any remaining negative energies regarding it go, and toss it into the fire as you say “I release you!” , until the jar is empty. Cleanse and center again. Then open the “good” jar and relive the good times. Burn and offer these positive energies to the moon and stars for their assistance!! I think Samhain, or the full moon closest to it, would be perfect! Or Yule, if you can take the cold weather.

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