Bloodletting is the withdrawal of often considerable quantities of blood from a patient in the belief that this would cure or prevent a great many illnesses and diseases. It was a tremendously popular medical practice from antiquity up to the late 19th century, a time span of almost 2,000 years.
I don't know why this came to my mind this morning, but I've been looking for ways to relieve the pressure burgeoning inside my heart the last two days. This process of bloodletting can take on many forms for me. Writing, conversation with people, listening to music, praying, reading, movies, playing with my girls, snuggling with my wife, etc. All of these things tend to prevent "a great many illnesses and diseases" to infest my soul's bloodstream weakening me--sometimes killing me.
Please know this--I'm not a cutter. I'm not advocating self-mutilation or what is know as SI (Self-Injury). I'm talking about something symbolic here based on the ancient practice of bloodletting. But it does intrigue me that though bloodletting isn't practiced in modern medicine anymore, the all too common epidemic of cutting yourself to relieve pain is growing in its popularity, especially among youth. But I digress.
The point is that I find a release and a cure in the letting out of my sickly lifeblood. When I sense a disease or infection coursing through my spirit's veins, there is nothing as critical as letting it out to God, people, or even myself. The worst thing I can do is hold it in. All that does is spread the disease of dis"ease" inside of me--like keeping yourself from puking when the very act of hurling would purge the toxins that are bringing you paralyzing misery.
Puking, bloodletting, venting...these disciplines are vital to the long-term health of the heart--if you care about that sort of thing.