If you follow my blogs you know I’m a huge advocate for writing an open letter to anyone who has ever hurt us. I believe, truly believe, that healing from emotional pain does not come without forgiveness. In order to move past the hurt, we must forgive. The best way I have found to free myself from all the pain I’ve endured over the years is to write these letters, I also like to call them truth letters.
I can’t remember when it was or who it was that told me about these but I am forever grateful for this.
I think it’s safe to say we have all gone through some kind of trauma or pain from someone that has left us scarred. We hang on to that pain and every now a memory will creep up and we’re back to that pain place, and crying in a heap on the floor.
Why you should write an open letter
First of all, I can’t stress enough the importance of writing an open letter. Too many of us bottle up our feelings. Our emotional pain and anger, our hurt and frustration. That is so unhealthy to do that. The only person you are hurting by doing this is yourself.
We think we are strong and we can handle these emotions. Truth be told, sure maybe you are strong, but these emotions are eating you up inside and tearing you apart. Not healthy at all. Not only unhealthy emotionally but this leads to anger and stress and everyone knows, these two evils will show up physically. They can show up in a few of these ways:
These are just a few ways your emotional pain can show up as physical pain. This is why you need to release that emotional pain, get it all out in an open letter and be done with it.
When I do my Lives over on my Facebook page, I get asked a lot about how to write an open letter properly or how to even do it. It’s really easy to do actually but if you’re like me, you like clear written out instructions. I’m more than happy to share that now here with you.
5 steps to free yourself from emotional pain
(and write an effective and epic open letter!)
Before we dive deep into these steps I want to make one thing clear. You are writing this open letter for you. No one else. It’s a ‘diary entry’ if you will. No one ever, or shouldn’t ever, see your diary, same thing here. For your eyes only.
The best time to write your open letter is when you are having a flashback. Or when you are feeling sad and your emotional pain is causing you some distress. That’s when you know it’s time to sit down and get this out. You can write, also, whenever the urge strikes you.
I still sometimes find myself writing an open letter. Not so much anymore but, yup, it hits me sometimes. I really enjoy writing these though. I find it’s just such great therapy.
Here we go:
Get a drink and some candles
It doesn’t have to be an alcoholic drink. It could be some herbal tea or even a simple glass of water. I know you are probably so mad right now, lighting candles is the last thing on your mind but you really should do this. It will help with all the toxic energy you will be releasing from your emotional pain.
You can also even put on some soft music (either through your phone, iPad, computer or whatever) to help calm you down. In the beginning, you will feel a lot of rage. You need things to help calm you down during and after.
First and foremost, if you don’t live alone, go lock yourself in a room by yourself. The worst thing you can do is lash out at anyone who happens to live with you or is close to you. Don’t do that ever. Find your own private space so you can be alone with your thoughts and your anger.
This is your time to heal and release. The last thing you need is a distraction, especially from the person who this open letter might very well be addressed to.
Notepad or computer
Now while this is, of course, entirely up to you, I always feel so much better when I write my open letter with a pen and a notebook. The old fashioned way. It’s almost like my emotional pain becomes one with the letter and it just all flows out of me. It’s just my thing. Whatever you choose to use or whatever makes you more comfortable is perfectly fine too.
If you are typing this up on a computer remember to delete it after you read it. We really don’t want anyone else reading our open letter or our deepest private thoughts, amirite?
Write til your hand cramps
You need to get it all out. Every single thing they did, every single hurt you feel, all your emotional pain, anger, frustration, you name it, write it out. Remember, it’s an open letter. Open to everything and anything that is going on inside of you. This is your time to free yourself from these chains of pain from the past that bind you.
Don’t hold back anything. Dig deep. If a thought comes up, write it out. I’ve written up some truth letters that were 6 pages long. I’m not even kidding. I’ve also written up some that were only 2 pages. Don’t stop until you either get it all out or your hand is too sore to write anymore.
Read and destroy
Once you’re all done writing, read it back, if you can, and then destroy it. I’ve crafted up some letters that were totally illegible. That’s how angry I was. If you can’t read your letter back that’s ok too. My method of destroying my open letter is always to burn it. It just feels so darn good to see all that hate and emotional pain go up in fire and smoke. It truly is liberating.
If you choose to burn it, please make sure you do so safely. That probably goes without saying but I just about set my hair on fire one time while I was burning my open letter. Yup. So don’t be like Iva.
There’s no need to hang on to this letter. There will be plenty of opportunity in the future to write another open letter. Trust me on this one.
Freedom and forgiveness
I get what it’s like to be hurt so pain you can barely see through the tears. I totally know what it’s like to hang on to emotional pain and coddle it like a child. We love to show people our pain. We want the whole world to know that your pain is alive and well, strong and powerful, and that yours is the biggest pain ever.
But why do we do this?
Does it make us feel good? Of course not. Does it make you happy? Of course not. Does it make the emotional pain and trauma go away? Absolutely not!!
It’s really hard, almost impossible to move forward in life if you are hanging on to the hurt from the past. Trust me on this one. I get how hard it is. I also get how much this person hurt you and how bad the emotional pain and trauma is. I totally get all of that.
But what you really need to know and understand that no matter how much this person hurt you or how bad the pain is, you positively absolutely must forgive them and keep one very important thing in mind:
You don’t forgive them for them, you forgive them for you!!
Your happiness and freedom is important. This person doesn’t even have to know and most likely probably never will know that you forgave them. That’s not what is important. Your happiness is important. I shudder at the times I hear women (and yes even men) say “Oh I’ll never forgive that ______ bleep bleep bleep!!!”
Can you stop for one second and listen to yourself when you say that!!! You’re angry. You’re hurt, pissed off and upset! So who’s hurting who here now? Can’t you see that you holding on to all this emotional pain is only hurting you!?
This person doesn’t care how much they hurt you or even if you still hurt from what they did. They.don’t.effin.care!!!! It’s you that is still hanging on to this, not them. Do you get that? You’re dragging it on. Not them.
It’s time to let go
I need you to let go. I need you to let go for you. I need you to let go for your happiness, inner peace and freedom. That’s why this open letter is so important for you to write whenever you have to. As time goes on, the pain will lessen until you will see how it hardly ever shows up anymore.
Please do this for you. You are so important. Your happiness is. You are so deserving of a happy peaceful life.
I love you
Peace and Love
xo iva xo