“We cultivate love when we allow our most vulnerable and powerful selves to be deeply seen and known, and when we honor the spiritual connection that grows from that offering with trust, respect, kindness and affection.
― Brené Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are
Just do it!
If you have never been a letter writer, please choose something from this blog that feels like a form that you are comfortable to work within. There is nothing wrong with going through and substituting any changes that you want. Print it out. Mark it up. Put two or three together…a line from this…a paragraph from that. Feel free.
If you do write letters and just want some guidelines…here we go!
Write what you are thinking.
When you are writing instead of speaking, there is a lot of room for editing. So write it down just the way you would say it aloud. The bad part is that you will write much more than you need to. The good part is, it will be in your particular style and it will get it all out. That’s a wonderful way to begin. Editing will take care of the rest.
Write your emotions.
It’s okay to be happy, sad, glad, loving, proud, angry, resentful (more on these last two later). Your feelings are just that…yours. If you didn’t have strong ones you probably wouldn’t be writing a letter. If you are looking for various words to express these feelings, just type any one of them into the “search” box at the top of your screen (i.e. google, bing, ask) and it will come up with many different options. The internet is your personal thesaurus to aid in your writing.
Begin with love.
No matter what you have to say, I am assuming that your underlying emotion is love. Begin with that. Starting with positive thoughts provides a basis from which someone can listen. If you begin on the attack, you will immediately lose your audience.
Stay in your own voice.
How does it feel to you? How do you see it? You are writing your thoughts so OWN them. Concentrate on your own role in the situation. Why do you feel such love, such pride? And on that note…
Write examples of these things. Draw word pictures that illustrate the things that you are saying. The light on his face when he is asleep – The heaviness or hollow feeling in your chest when she’s gone – The way the air constricts in the room with tension – the light he brings to your life…
Enclose your favorite photo. If you have a shot of the two of you that you love, make a copy and send it. If when you think of your loved one a special picture comes to mind, enclose that. If you are at odds presently but want to return to happier times, include a photos that portrays what you hope for. All of these graphics are positive reinforcements for what you feel.
Think before you send.
Back to that anger and resentment thing. Look at your letter from all sides. Are your words healing or divisive? Will your letter solve problems or create more? Have you truly expressed your love or are you holding back because you are afraid of your own vulnerability? Remember that we cannot give or receive fully without making ourselves vulnerable.
Begin writing…you’ll be glad you did.