Last night, I had two dear friends over for dinner whom I hadn't seen in some time. One is about to start another year of college and the other is starting a new job. Both stressful things, to be sure. So, with all of our busy schedules, it was a welcome respite to enjoy each other's company and wile away the evening in conversation and laughter. An interesting thing happened, however, which I did not anticipate. Both friends had secretly been going through some troubles in their lives and, with the exception of talking to a few people, had largely kept them internalized. As the evening continued, each of us began to open up to the other two with all the things that were troubling our souls – from little things that were mere irritations, to much bigger things that really hurt our hearts.
The thing is, it was so therapeutic to just let these hurts out – to let someone else hear them and to know that we weren't just overreacting to the situations in our lives. It was balm to the soul to have that companionship and that understanding. And, as tears were shed and laughter rang out into the night, we began to heal our hurts.
Sometimes we harm ourselves more by holding bad things in – troubling experiences, negative emotions – and we don't realize it until we finally have a chance to let things go. So my encouragement to you is this: Let it out! Find someone (or someones) you trust and be willing to open up to them. They don't even have to say anything in return, if you don't want them to. It is often the case that we simply need someone to listen to us while we sort out our own thoughts and provide the encouragement and support that we may feel we lack otherwise. Letting go of those things that harm us and letting them see the light of day and feel some fresh air has a healing effect. So don't wound yourself by letting them fester inside. Let it out, and let yourself be renewed.