Putting pen to paper is indeed magical , we express ourselves through writing most of the time. Words that we dare not say aloud tend to come out easier on paper. From free form poetry to long secret letters and the works. For a more in depth knowledge Juliet Madison’s The Secret Letters Project; A Journal for Reflection, Growth and Transformation Through the Art of Letter Writing book is a must read.
I’m sure most of you are wondering what do you gain from these secret letters? It’s basically a safe space for writers to explore relationships, deal with difficult situations and to express happiness.
So where do you start? Break down into letters addressed to different recipients e.g Dear Ex, Dear Soulmate, Dear Stranger, Dear Me, Dear Mum etc.
There’s something about putting pen to paper that makes the whole cathartic process feel complete instead of typing it out on the screen.
Want to improve your emotional health then use letter writing as a therapeutic outlet, an added bonus would be the ability to express your feelings to others also better as a result.
Before you start writing ask yourself the following:
- why you’re writing to this person
- what to do with the letter
- how to write it
- things to consider before getting started
Some letters may be written with the intention of sending it, others advise you to keep it instead, burn it, store it, or do whatever sits well with you. The Secret Letters project author, Juliet Madison mentions that the “power is in the process’, so it doesn’t really matter what you end up doing with the final draft.
“Many people are unaware of how writing a secret letter, a letter just for themselves, can be a powerful tool to deal with challenging circumstances or to simply generate excitement for life and anticipation for the future” quipped Juliet.
However it’s totally understandable if your letter starts off on a negative note, especially if it’s someone you may not want to speak to. Just as long as the main intention is to resolve the emotion through what you’re writing.
In Juliet’s book there are twenty letters, here are some close to our heart.
Letter #1 ~ Dear stranger
” Perform a random and anonymous act of kindness by writing an inspiring letter to a stranger.” Place it a public space after e.g the park, library or even a cafe. Make sure it is somewhere where it can be found.
Why? You have the power of making a stranger’s day with your words.
Letter #2 ~ Dear loved one
” Move through the grieving process by writing a letter to your deceased loved one.” Keep it, share it with a friend or relative, or throw it away.
Why? It helps you release all those pent up emotions which were held in and it’ll also allow you to grieve on your own terms.
Letter #3 ~ Dear soul mate
” Write an empowering letter to yourself as an act of self -love and acceptance.” Keep it somewhere special to you so you can access it easily and reread it when you need a pick me up.
Why? You can understand yourself better or discover yourself and to remind yourself to keep up the good fight and stay positive.
Letter #6 ~ Dear Ex
” Resolve past hurts and give yourself closure and peace of mind by releasing all that has been unsaid in a letter to your ex-partner.” Discard it in a way that symbolizes a new beginning or send it if you think he or she will benefit from it.
Why? A healthy way to express feelings, move on or show gratitude from what you’ve learned from the relationship.
Letter #8 ~ Dear baby/ future child
” If you’re a parent-to-be or wish to be a parent in the future, this letter is to share your hopes, excitement, love, and anticipation for your unborn baby.” Save it to give to your child when they get older, keep it in a memento box, or write it in a journal to continue adding on.
Why? This is a way to connect with the future baby or to help with the process of grieving over a miscarriage.
Letter #10 ~ Dear illness
” Write to a past or present health condition, acknowledging what it has taught you and the positive aspects you choose to make from it to embrace better health and peace of mind”.
Why? This enables you to see your illness in a positive light without allowing it to define who you are.
Letter #18 ~ Dear spouse/ partner
” Write to your current partner to express gratitude, acknowledge memories or milestones, or to express difficult emotions that may be challenging to express face-to-face.” Opt to keeping it in your secret place or share it with your significant other.
Letter #19 ~ Dear friend/relative
” Is there a person in your life you need to express something to? A parent, a sibling, a relative, a colleague, or someone you admire? Write to them, either to give them the letter, or to simply release your emotions for yourself.” Share it with the person or store it or let it go off in a ceremonial way.
Why? You can ask for forgiveness, show thankfulness or work out any unresolved emotions.