Writing Letters that Heal and Bring Joy
This week, instead of giving you a prompt and sharing my response, I give you a writing mission.
You will write three letters.
There used to be a great art to writing letters. It was a necessary form of communication and a common form of entertainment. It was inexpensive, and it allowed people to maintain friendships beyond the boundaries of their town.
This week, we write three letters. The first one is a letter to a stranger. The second goes to someone you love. The third will never be delivered.
- A Letter to a Stranger – This letter is inspired by The World Needs More Love Letters campaign. The concept is simple: hand-write a love letter and leave it somewhere for a stranger to find. The letter should be written with the intention of brightening their day. Think along the terms of love and encouragement, not advice. Be creative, tell a story, and be anonymous. Don’t sign your letter with your name and don’t include a return address. You can either send it officially through the service above, or leave it for a stranger to find. There are more details and examples on their site.
- A Letter to Someone You Love – Think of someone you love who you have not seen for a long time. Write them a letter that tells them what they mean to you. Write thoughtfully and truthfully and only say what you want them to know. You want to feel comfortable sending the letter. It should be a good experience for you to write it and for your recipient to read it. You should also write this one by hand. Bonus points if you use a pretty stationary.
- A Letter That Will Never Be Delivered- This method is common in among homeopaths and witches. I’m sure there’s a Venn diagram somewhere explaining that relationship. Despite its somewhat mystical background, the technique is about healing, and it can do no harm. Get out some plain paper and a pen. Write a letter to someone who’s hurt you– someone you have not forgiven. Write the letter to that person. Tell them how you feel. Say everything. Don’t correct what you write, don’t reread it. Write stream of consciousness until you have exhausted the subject. Now take that letter and burn* it. As it burns, let go of the words you wrote. Let go of those feelings. They have no hold over you anymore.
You have your mission. Let the scratching of quills commence.
*Please use common sense. You burn things at your own risk.*