Letter Therapy

Letter Therapy
Writing for Sanity
     With Thanksgiving behind us and Christmas right around the corner, I’ve been seeing lots of family.  There have been good visits and bad visits, good food and bad food, smiles and frowns, good movies and bad movies.  I really like to focus on the positive, good moments as this is the purpose of this blog, after all.

     Inevitably, there will be bad moments mixed in.  While this blog is focusing on the positive it doesn’t mean that we don’t experience rough times.  It is finding the positivity in those times that is essential to our sanity and well-being.

     Which brings me to my topic of “Letter Therapy”.  While I was cooking my pumpkin bread pudding I burned my forefinger on the rack in the oven.  It left a line that ran knuckle to knuckle across the top of my finger and hurt when I got water on it while doing dishes or washing my hands.  It was painful, but I knew that it would heal.  In fact, as I write this it is almost completely healed.

     Our Thanksgiving dinner was perfect, but that evening our family had a huge blow-out stemmed from miscommunication that had everyone up in arms.  Feelings got hurt, words tossed around, and arguments ensued.  It was painful, and even now I’m not sure if this particular wound will heal anywhere as fast as my poor finger.  But it hurts in the moment.  It hurts even days later.

     Sometimes it just isn’t possible to talk to get things resolved right away.  Enter “Letter Therapy”.  As per usual, there is a lot of hashing and re-hashing of the moment it went wrong and dissecting every word, every movement, every action.  At some point, if it can’t be immediately resolved, there needs to be a purging of it from your system.

     I decided to write a letter that I would never send.  I started by clarifying what I felt had happened.  I admitted any fault that was mine and apologized for my part in the situation.  I then ranted and raved a bit about how much I hated the situation and that I couldn’t believe it had been so misconstrued and had gone so wrong.  I may have even thrown in a couple of curse words just for good measure.

     I wrote the letter in an evening.  Re-read it in the morning and then let my hubby read it.  It reminded me of the 4th step in a 12-Step Program.  The 4th steps requires you to make a fearless moral inventory while the 5th step is to share it with someone and then burn the list.  I wrote everything down, shared it, and now have let it go.

     I will be the first to admit that it’s not as if it doesn’t hurt anymore or that the problem is gone, but it does give me the freedom to get it out of my system so that the re-living of the moment can stop.  It hasn’t resolved the issue as yet, but it let’s me move on with my life with a cleansing that is ever so helpful.  I believe it is better to try some “Letter Therapy” than point fingers and play the blame game in your head until it is debilitating and is affecting other areas in your life.

     I wish you only the best this holiday season!  If you happen to run into some trouble that cannot be immediately resolved, try some “Letter Therapy” and move on.  Things will work out in the end, but if the end is nowhere in sight, this is a great alternative until your path leads you to a better solution.


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