This week’s blog is inspired by a personal client of mine. During our session, she discussed various aspects of her relationship with her parents that she missed. This conversation eventually led me to ask her how she felt about writing a letter to her parents, sharing her thoughts and feelings regarding their relationship and what she hoped for regarding change. She was apprehensive due to the patterns and behaviors her parents have always shown, creating more doubt in the idea. We then discussed the benefits of this letter and the healing that could begin to happen in doing so.
Many may not even realize that writing letters can be highly therapeutic. Writing letters creates connection and strengthens communication, reflection, patience, and healing. When someone takes the time to sit down and write a letter to a person, it shows care and effort that is much appreciated in a world filled with instant messaging, not to mention the nostalgic feelings it brings to handwrite something, send it off and wait to receive one in return. There is nothing like having a keepsake one can hold onto and be transported back in time, keeping memories alive.
Despite her concerns, my client agreed to write and poured her entire heart onto the paper. As I read this letter, I witnessed immense vulnerability. I learned things about her that I hadn’t before in prior sessions. She not only expressed the challenges she experienced with her parents but also acknowledged the roles she played leading up to adulthood. I was filled with emotion and was so proud of her for being courageous enough to share the information she wasn’t sure would be received well. Another surprising moment was that I believe she learned more about herself while writing the letter.
I want to encourage whomever this blog reaches to write a letter to someone you love or care about. Find a peaceful place, sit down, grab a pen and paper, and pour your heart out. Show gratitude for someone that has been a significant supporter in your life. Make someone’s day by letting them know you are thinking of them. Before you write to this special someone, I want to challenge you to write a letter to yourself FIRST. Write everything you’ve never told yourself, and share your deepest thoughts, fears, and desires. Tell yourself how proud you are.
When was the last time you wrote a letter anyway?
Use this as a screen-free activity to decrease the negative impact technology causes on our health. Another essential benefit to writing a letter is brain stimulation. This will keep one’s mind active and help improve memory, concentration, and communication skills!