The Big Burn

Since my move earlier this year, I have been letting go, purging, tying up loose ends and getting organized. 

I figuratively burned approximately 10+ years of journals; pages and pages of raw emotions; sorrow, tears, joy, laughter, prayers and dreams into the shredder.  The reason for all of this?

  • What if I die tomorrow and my family comes across these sacred writings? They’ll read everything I wrote about them…oh, I can hear my eulogy right about now. 
  • One of my favorite things about life is the fleeting intimacy of events. One second here…another second gone.
  • I’ve come to the conclusion that I don’t need to relive my past. I’m good with the here and now.

Do not give your past the power to define your future

It was time to say Thank you and goodbye. I’m living a clutter-free life and loving it.

I’ll never advise on journal-burning; it’s a very personal matter. To keep, shred, burn, it’s your free will. But I can tell you this I’ve cleared space to purchase a few more journals. 🙃

Happy Holidays/Merry Christmas to you and yours. Life is Good ~ Bernice

51 thoughts on “The Big Burn

  1. Hi! Just got back to reading my mails. Been busy with work and mother stuff. And reading this piece sure is so timely because I’ve been doing some de-cluttering here, there and everywhere, albeit with much difficulty, since I’m not yet fully recovered. Thanks for this inspiration.This part is my favorite though: It was time to say Thank you and goodbye. I’m living a clutter-free life and loving it. 🙂

    1. Glad you’re back. Gotta take some ‘me’ time. Decluttering can take time. Good thing you’re not like me. I would’ve thrown it all away or given it away. 😉 Stay well.

  2. Bernice, this is awesome! I acknowledge you for burning so much = that process can be so powerful and it sounds like that was the case for you.

    Since the start of the year, I’m aware of letting go of a lot of old stories inside to come present and be true to my inner (and outer) experience NOW. it’s part of why I started Money Mondays.

    You are awesome. I’m grateful to connect with you in all the ways we’ve done that. 😊

    Blessings to you and Happy new year,

      1. Yes, Bernice, I agree! Funny, I just read a beautiful meditation by Robert Holden, a coach in England and collaborator with Louise Hay. It’s on this topic of beginning anew and is BEAUTIFUL. Email me if you’d like to read it — happy to forward to you. (My email again is


  3. Oh, I love this Bernice and it’s so fitting. I was just given another beautiful Gratitude Journal for Christmas (my 8th in a row) and was wondering whether I should cull the past. Perhaps it’s time to burn the old, let go and move on. xo

  4. When I was younger I used to write my thoughts, but no more. 🙂 Bernice, I want to wish you a Merry Christmas. Whatever is meaningful. Whatever brings you happiness. May it be yours this holiday season and throughout the coming year!!!

  5. I never thought about burning all my journals before and whoa…I’ll have one big digital footprint (cuz: writing, haha)…oh lordy. I need to plan a BONFIRE! Hahah. Actually, this would be good for a solstice or equinox event, me thinks.
    I love your idea here. Truly. I have been wanting to build a firepit in my backyard (but have been so busy this year!) using repurposed bricks from an old brick building. This makes me want to make this project happen right now. Hehe.
    As for the decluttering, I’m alll for it. That’s another ongoing project I have. Last year I purged my clothes from about 200 pieces to 33. I’m starting to edge up (gifts, thrift store deals) again, but it feels great to declutter. I sent 17 boxes of books to the second hand store in the past year, as well. Next up are the basement boxes still unpacked from my move 3 years ago. I should just sent it to the secondhand store without going through it if it’s been that long, right? Hehe.
    But yes…it would be awesome to declutter to the point of being able to travel, rent out our house and have just enough furniture to call it “furnished” but we wouldn’t have much to pack.
    Because really…I think I could just live out of backpack. When I travel around the country, that’s what I do…
    Lovely post!

  6. Actually, I tend to do this on a regular basis every few years. It is as though destroying the recorded memories and thoughts, sets you free from them. It is a moving through it all, and that’s what allows us to grow. I definitely wouldn’t want anyone else to read my journals because they would see a me that no longer is. 💕

    1. Yes Collette, perhaps I need to be set free from some of my recorded memories & now feels the right time ho do so 🙂
      Happy new year

  7. Clutter-free is good for the soul and the mind. I journal online at a site called 750 Words so all my journal writing is password protected; only my husband has the password (and he’s in there a LOT) so he can do with it what he wants when I am gone.

  8. I can relate. I’ve been deciding what to do with my journals too. Not an easy decision. What I’ve been trying to do is read through them and tear pages out that have some meaning to me. I know I’m going to shred them. I dont want my member or mysband to have to deal with them after I pass.

  9. I started writing about my daily life and personal thoughts on a summer day in 1989. I haven’t stopped. Sometimes I wonder if I want my kids to read all of that when I’m gone. There are moments when I think a good burn will do the trick and then it passes. Time will tell what I will do.

  10. Loved your post – simple reminder and thoughtful sharing. Letting go is such a continual process – literally and figuratively – I am reminded of few more things that I can work on letting go.

  11. ‘Do not give your past the power to define your future. It was time to say Thank you and goodbye. I’m living a clutter-free life and loving it’. This summed up your profound and deep words, Bernice. Yes it is time to move on and not look at the past cause the past does not exist and remain firm in our happiness and joy. Beautiful post.

  12. wonderful post! living a clutter free life has been something that has helped me emotionally, spiritually and physically. You will be richly rewarded and enjoy the space you now have! 🙂 blessings to you….

  13. That’s a very courageous thing to do. I have kept journals since I was 16 (I’m now 40) and I’m not sure If I ever could. I’m so attached to the story of me, particularly the younger me, as she was so troubled.

    1. I get you. I, too, had diaries/journals since I can remember and they were all lost in a flood. It reminded me that the pages fade but the memories remain. The choice is always yours. 🙂

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