I wanted to change things up a bit today and bring some levity to things. I wanted to make you all laugh and just be care free for a bit. I wanted you to have that awkward moment when you are the only one laughing wherever you are. I wanted to be a professional surfer when I grew up too. It seems that there are a lot of things that I WANT that don’t necessarily end up coming into being.
As it is, I felt lead (there I go over spiritualizing again) to abandon that plan. Rather, I realized that something was missing. For many of you, you are more than aware of this. Most likely, it’s not something, it’s someone. At some point they were probably there, but now, they’re gone. For others of you it is a something. It’s a sense of completeness. You look around and see life happening, including yours. Yet, it’s almost like you are watching it happen rather than living it. Something is missing.
If you’ve been following most of my posts we have talked a lot about hurts. We’ve talked about what they are, what they do, the effect and affect that they have on us. Yet, we haven’t really gone too deep in how to deal with and get rid of them.
Here’s the deal. Pardon the excessive linkage but I include it to catch anyone up who hasn’t been following all along. It all starts with emotional/relational needs and an awareness of them in your life. It is then important to understand to grasp what true comfort really is and, almost more importantly, isn’t. It is very important that if you are going to be able to process the hurts that are in your life that you have someone who will help you. If you do, make sure you’ve read the three essential components of a successful relationship. THEN…if you’ve delved into the world of discussing hurts in the trilogy of hurt (no, I don’t really call it that) then you are up to speed and realized that there needs to be more.
Hopefully, by now you have a grasp of how to comfort and have someone in your life that comforts you as you experience hurts of all kinds. Whether it be a “that breaks my heart” and tears when you have something really bad happens or simply a “woof, that sucks” and a head shake when you speak of a bad day, they know how to comfort you. Now, you’re ready for more…you are ready, and more honestly have realized that you need, to go deeper. Here’s an exercise for you.
It’s called a therapeutic letter. Mind you, I’m not a licensed counselor in any way and really want you to tread carefully here. All I’m saying is that I have done this and have been amazed at how healing and helpful it was. Again, it is essential that you have someone to walk through this with you. Here are some characteristics of a therapeutic letter:
*They are written to someone who has greatly influenced you and hurt you in things they have done or failed to do (most often parent(s) or whoever raised you).
*It does not have to be someone who hurt you on purpose. In fact, most often, they were doing their best. Their intent does not diminish the impact that it has had on you.
*Odds are you will need to or should write more than one. If one parent is the first one that comes to mind it does not mean the other one was perfect and didn’t leave hurts that need to be addressed.
*Do not write this and then chicken out and not have it comforted by your loved one. All you will have done is dig up some really serious hurts, brought them to the surface, and now let them fester.
*Lastly, FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS GOOD AND HOLY NEVER EVER MAIL/SEND/GIVE THESE LETTERS TO ANYONE…ESPECIALLY THE PERSON YOU ARE WRITING THIS LETTER “TO” IN THE FIRST PLACE!!! You will crush them and start a whole new cycle of hurts that will devastate many.
So, you write the letter, then read the letter to that someone in your life that is able to emotionally respond and comfort you. Here are the components of the letter (obviously you complete the sentences and go from there):
Dear Dad / Mom / Step-parent / Grandparent / Former Spouse / etc.
I’ve been thinking about our relationship – about how I felt and some of the things I needed,
but didn’t receive.
• From some of my earliest memories, I have felt…
• I know I really needed…
• It hurt me so much when…
• I now often feel…
• It would mean so much to me if…
• I wish I could hear you say to me…
Again, read this letter to whoever it is that comforts you. You will find that it is almost impossible to get through it without crying…that’s the mourning. Remember, we’re attaching comfort to grief. This is a great, though tiring, exercise that will really help you heal and finally move on. Carefully, try it. It helped me as much as anything else in dealing with hurts from earlier in my life. Something WAS missing in my life…healing.