Letters are powerful catalysts. I love using them in the therapeutic process, as well as, in my own process.
Letters allow you to dig deep, to uproot pain and trauma. They provide a safe space to eradicate what no longer serves you-shame, guilt, judgement, worthlessness, and much more.
Letters are a way for us to look at deep pains and wounds, in the safety and containment of ourselves, in the places we feel safest. Letters allow us to look inward at the places we need to hold the most. The places we need to tend to, to create change and movement.
Types of letters:
With each letter-Let it out. Pour it out. Don’t hold back. Let the words, feelings, emotions, thoughts and experiences leave you and dance on the paper.
A letter to someone else. Someone, who has hurt you, who you want resolution with. Someone who you want to know how you feel, how they made you feel or hurt you?
A letter to yourself. Is there a time in your life that needs your attention? A part of you, you at a certain age that needs you to communicate with it? Are you neglecting parts of you that you can heal through an open conversation, such as a letter?
You can write a letter of forgiveness to yourself or someone else. Is there someone who you would like to forgive, that has pained you? How can you forgive yourself?
You can write a thank you letter to yourself or someone else. Even someone who has hurt you or ways you have hurt yourself. What gifts have come out of this pain?
Once you have written your letter, there a few different things you can do:
- Burn it. Let the letter burn, as it burns allow it carry away everything you have been carrying. After the letter has burned, scatter or bury the ashes, putting to the rest the pain and hurt. Let it rest in peace.
- Send it. However, before you send it, reread and edit if needed. Also check in and ask yourself, “What do I hope to get from sending this letter?” and “Am I prepared for whatever the outcome of sending this letter will be?” Are you ready for the person to ignore, defend, attack, be hurt by your letter? Are you ready to face the consquences of your letter?
- Save the letter and keep adding to it. Use it as a type of journal. An open conversation.
- Write a letter back to yourself, from the other person’s perspective. This helps you to see things in their perceptive, in your own space and safety.
- Share your letter with others, including blogging it or posting it.
I do the work I ask others to do. Check back tomorrow and the following day, to read the letter I wrote to adolescent self and the letter my adolescent self wrote.
(The photograph is picture I took in high school. Back then I wanted to be a photographer. See, there are many ways you can honor the process of healing to become whole.)