Most people agree with the value of writing affirming, encouraging letters to loved ones. Yet most of us don’t ever get around to actually writing the letters.
More directly, have YOU written letters to those who matter most?
If not, why not?
Is it that you don’t know where to begin or what to say?
Yes, that’s an obstacle to some, but if you’re reading this blog, then you undoubtedly know about a workbook that simplifies the process.
Are you “too busy?”
Nice try, but really? Don’t we all find time for the things that are important to us? If you love sports, did you miss the Super Bowl or March Madness? Or tune in to the last day of The Masters? If you’re a shopper, did you make it to the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale? Whatever our greatest interests or passions, we generally find the time.
Will you get to it…someday?
Someday might never come. None of us is promised tomorrow. And by keeping feelings locked up in your heart, you’re depriving a loved one of emotional nourishment that could help them blossom.
Or could you, like me, get frozen in perfectionism?
How often do we postpone doing something that is very important because we are afraid we can’t do it perfectly?
Guilty as charged. In fact, I consider myself a “perfectionist in recovery.” And while I recognize the affliction of perfectionism, I still struggle.
Think about notes or letters you have received over the years. Did you read them with a red pen in hand, ready to correct mistakes? Unlikely. In fact, I have even saved scraps of notes from loved ones who are now gone from this earth as a reminder of their love.
This weekend, why not shift gears and actually write a letter to someone you cherish? Here are a few letter-writing tips to help you get started:
Focus on completion, not perfection.
Remember your WHY: the reason for writing the letter. It’s not about you. It’s to pour love and encouragement into someone you love.
When you feel anxiety strike, put yourselves in the shoes of the intended recipient. How would YOU feel about receiving an affirming letter? Take a deep breath and remember your WHY.
Give yourself a time budget for writing the letter. Yes, it’s easy to become a wordsmith and endlessly edit your letter, but resolve to complete your writing within a set amount of time.
Before you start writing, spend a few minutes thinking and praying about the recipient. Ask God what special qualities you should affirm.
If you choose to handwrite the letter, please don’t be embarrassed if you have to scratch out a mistake. Those human touches will likely be endearing to the recipient, and even moreso with the passing of time.
Just do it!
Life is hard and unpredictable. And your affirming, encouraging words to someone you love can provide the emotional equivalent of sprinkling refreshing water on a withered plant.
I hope you’ll take the challenge and “leave nothing unsaid.”