Many people have suffered events that made us feel helpless. Whether it is a breakup, losing a job, a loved one, or being hurt by someone that you thought never would. In situations that are hard to get past or get over, the problem could be that you let out all of the emotions.
We all think of the things we would say if we ever saw that person again or just had the courage to say those word out loud. It is time to stop the over thinking and take out the pen and paper.
Letter writing is common exercise, seen in many sitcoms when writing angry letters but can also be very helpful when trying to heal past wounds. Some call this Transactional Writing but I like to call them Release Letters. These letters are an emotional exchange of ideas and thoughts to someone else. The idea is to take the thoughts that are taking up space and circling your mind and transfer them to paper as a release.
I wrote a release letter recently (like right before I started this blog post). I have wanted to have a real and honest conversation with the person for a while and honestly I needed to talk about many of the topics in my letter 10 years ago.
I realized, if I didn’t heal these wounds I would never be about to get past the situation and start over with them. I cried as I wrote the letter, it was cathartic. I felt a weight being lifted after I read it back to myself and decided that I will actually send it to them.
The elements to a release letter are:
• Purpose and Audience
Although you may not send the letter, you still need to consider your audience. Is this a friend, family member, significant other? You also need to define what you are writing about so that you can get all of your thoughts out on that topic. Identify if you are seeking compassion, forgiveness, empathy or an apology.
• Unfiltered Honesty
This is not the time for manners or protocol. This is a moment for you to be 100% honest about your feelings and your experience. I would recommend writing whatever comes to your mind – no matter what. You need to get all those emotions on the page.
• To Send or Not Sent
As you begin this journey, you may think “I would never send this” but after writing your honest feelings down and reading them back you may change your mind. It doesn’t matter if you send the letter what matters is you wrote it.
What you do with your release letter is up to you. I have read articles of people keeping them to read again during hard time or people burning them (safely of course) as a release. I hope that you write a letter to someone or yourself to release emotions so that you can heal too.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.