Most of us probably remember a time, perhaps years past, where we were taught to, or in the presence of, a process of scraping mould off homemade jam? The premise being that a little mould on top of a jar at least half full of jam, was still ok providing you scraped the layer of mould from it first. It seemed accurate afterall, as long as you could put the sight, smell, and perception of the mould out of your mind, you could scrape away easily, revealing what appeared to be otherwise untainted, perfectly normal and ready-to-eat jam (irrespective of the truth about mould dangers in food that we have since come to understand – sorry Mums).

Recently I met with a friend and although we both had reason to celebrate certain aspects of life on this particular day, it wasn’t long before we had become joined in a conversation about challenges and concerns in our work. Afterwards, she confessed not feeling good about the talk and I could see, the idea of apparently negative talk was not something she preferred. And while I don’t expect many, if any of us, really do prefer it, I re-assured her as I have before, that all is not so bad as it seems.

These labels of Bitching, Yelling, Screaming, Going Off, Blowing your Top, Losing it, and Whining relate to actions without any degree of thought – building a negative or dark picture and seeing only the dark side of any given situation. These ‘expressions’ must come out, no doubt, but once the build-up has reached this point, it is time to seek trusted and/or professional and regular counsel. Further, it is easy to influence others with these energies and sure enough, most of us would prefer not to get ‘drawn in’. Some people are so regular at these deliberate attempts that they become well practiced and have difficulty experiencing anything else. And these situations are considered unhealthy and unsustainable.

But there is another ‘in-between’ converse which does not share the same darkness and which is in fact, a necessary part of the human experience. Venting is something altogether different. Of course there are similarities, it is after all an opportunity to discuss challenges and concerns as opposed to what is going right. But, there are many more important differences at hand. Perhaps most importantly, it is unrealistic for any person to think they can live in this world and not pick up a fair share of challenge, negativities, darkness, resistance, mental weight, concern, fear, and learned helplessness. These things are what our leaders help perpetuate toward us, we are supposed to feel them in our world we have at the very least, co-created.

But the way forward, is not to become them. In other words as Stuart Wilde would have us understand, not to become OF this world. Accepting what we pick up consciously or otherwise along the way and living our lives in accordance with cleansing ourselves of it as often as necessary. Enter deliberate, workable, and beneficial venting. So how does venting work?

Venting MUST be done in a high energy environment. Venting is healing.

Venting MUST take place within trusted relations only. Confidentiality is agreed and paramount.

Venting MUST be shared.

Venting MUST only happen when either person does not have more serious and/or pressing issues to release.

Venting MUST not be prolonged, an hour is long enough (if issues persist, professional help is sought).

Venting MUST always end with a celebration of trusted friendship, cleanising, and wellbeing.

Venting MUST always end on a high note, don’t finish venting with, well, VENTING.

Venting MUST not be confused with Bitching or Whining, they are different because one is a unconcious consequence of build up and the other thought out and purposeful.

Expressing these feelings to someone by talking with them in a calm and rational manner can be very helpful and can actually greatly contribute to our letting go of such feelings. As the saying goes, ‘a problem shared is a problem lessened.’ Just by letting someone else know of our feelings, we may experience release from them

Alan A

So, let us be brave enough to love ourselves for who we are yes? And the challenges we are presented with living in this world too? Let us acknowledge what energies we pick up consciously or otherwise along the way and let us proactively seek a healthy and consistent pathway for venting out the not so good stuff. And let us choose wisely, the privilege of counsel from trusted friends and/or professional supports. For these will guide our journey and potentially increase our growing capacities to heal our environments, heal ourselves, and heal each other.

If we embrace rather than repel the concept of venting, working in a way that benefits, rather than impinges upon us, we will in effect, be engaging in a process which is age old. Stated in those uncomplicated terms as


And once scraped, we will find just like our grandparents did before us, that the jam is as good as ever, perfect in every way, untainted by whatever had crusted on the top and, above all else, it will be again so very, very tasty, enjoyable, and sweet.

Pleasant musings


IS VENTING GOOD FOR YOU? By Alan A of happinesshelp.org

Wilde, S,


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