Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Healing Power of Letter Writing

Household Letter Writing Set

I hope that the letters that you have written this month have been a boon to your soul and that your words have been an unexpected joy to the recipients.  But perhaps some of you have been reading along in Service Boot Camp thinking, "but I can't write letters to the people closest to me, because I just cannot forgive what they have done."  Well, then perhaps this post is for you.

As I was reading the Ensign last night, I was reminded of yet another positive use for letter-writing:  letters as therapy.

In the article entitled "Learning to Forgive," (March 2011 Ensign) the author shares her struggle to forgive her father for abusing her as a child.  The author mentions writing letters to her parents--letters that were never mailed and that were eventually destroyed.  The author wrote letters as an emotional outlet at first, and the tone of her letters eventually became amicable, which lead to her reaching out to her parents in real life.

Have you ever received a letter of apology from someone or written a letter asking someone for forgiveness or extending forgiveness?  If you have, you might know that this can be quite a freeing experience.  

Letter writing can help us to reconcile with others, no matter what side of the situation we find ourselves.  Yet another reason to write letters...whether you send them or not!

Household Letter Writing Set

For today's giveaway, I have a "household letter writing set" that you are definitely going to want to send!

These cards are soooo cute and classy and come to us from the Etsy shop

Enter to win by doing any of the following:

1.  Visit Hello Good-bye Designs and let me know what you think!

2.  Share a positive experience that you have had writing letters this month.

3.  Choose your own adventure...but make it good!

See ya on the flip-side, Service Boot Campers!


  1. One time in college I had the overwhelming task of apologizing for something that happened years ago! I had kind of been a brat in high school and said some mean things to a friend and I felt bad about it 8 years later. I knew I had to patch things up with that friend and letter writing was my key. I was taking a social work class and the teacher specifically mentioned writing letters as a kind of therapy. I wrote my friend a letter that day in class. I don't think I sent that specific letter but I eventually tracked my friend down through email and caught up on good times with her and then apologized for my rudeness in h.s.. I was so glad I did because that girl really is amazing!

  2. what a great idea, it works for any strong emotion or grief in your life. Years ago I wrote a letter to my father who was killed in an accident when I was five-telling him of my feelings and how I've missed him my whole life then I wrote a letter back to me trying to imagine his feelings losing his life at age 29 and leaving his wife of 9 years and young daughter-me. It was very healing...

  3. As I read the other comments I thought about Mormon writing to Moroni. Moroni then shared the letters with us. The thought that struck me was the healing power that Mormon's letter about the death of little children and the power that the Atonement of Christ has in saving them from damnation. I would imagine a parent who has lost a child would be comforted in the words of a letter written so long ago. I don't know that Mormon intended that a his letter would be shared to such as mass audience.

    Sometimes a therapeutic letter can be written to cleanse the soul and mind. The letter can be "sent" by giving it to a trusted friend or companion that will eventually destroy it or hold onto to it for a later date. The act of "posting" (giving the letter away) is also symbolic by giving away the pain, loss, grief, sorrow, anger, distrust, etc. so that it does not need to be held onto and stored in a box to continue holding onto the experience or feelings.

    btw - I liked the cute cards on her site.

  4. I visited Good-bye Designs! They are very cute. I loved the envelopes...

  5. I can say from experience that letter writing can be a very powerful healing tool. It's one of the first steps toward forgiving and moving forward putting grudges and ill feelings behind you. I even look back at journal entries and can see the transformation from sadness to joy.

  6. I've often used letter writing as therapy. It's great!


  7. I write in my journal and that is theraputic for me. I have also writted some letters of anger and then tore them up and that too is good therapy.
    On the positive side; I love to receive letters. It is becoming a lost art.
    I served as a nurse for the Washington Spokane Mission when we lived there. The Elders and Sisters love to receive letters. Yes, emailing is so great; but trust me they like to discover a letter in their mailbox.
    Blessings to you for your great ideas.

  8. Visited Good-bye designs she has cute stuff but by far my favorite is the stationary.

  9. I have started a new "project" each week writing a letter to someone who has ment something to me in the past. Roommate, cousin, friend, teacher, ect. It has been fun to remember all the memories connected to each person and at that time in my life.

  10. I've done that, it's how I resolved my issues with my mom. I never mailed them, but writing them was SO helpful, helped me figure out why I was upset and opened my eyes on ways to approach things in a positive way. I'm happy to say our relationship is fantastic now. I've been having some issues with my Mother in Law, but it hadn't occurred to me to do this, thanks for the impetus.

  11. Some of my favorite letters were from my mom when i was a kid. I was a very homesick kid and sleepovers where never much fun, so my mom would stick little letters into my pillow that i would find as i was laying down. Years later I found one in my pillow on the first night of college states away from my family. It was simple and let me know she loved me.

  12. I love letters. I love you too! I can't find you on facebook! :( Look me up! Tami Kusch Warner!

  13. oh I love the letter idea and those are so cute. It's true--the letters never sent are some of the best therapies. I'm afraid I used my journal for that sometimes and now must destroy those pages! Can't leave that for progeny. Blogging helps me reflect on what someone else might think reading this--even then I may regret some thoughts.