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Monday, April 13, 2009

The Unsent Letter

Another technique to use for personal journal writing is the unsent letter. This is a powerful tool to unload the weight of guilt, withheld emotion, deep-seated anger and many other troubles we carry in our lives. Just as you would sit and write a letter to a friend or a loved one, with this technique all you need do is address the person you have in mind.

Write their name at the top of the page, Dear .., and begin telling them the things you never could when face to face. It doesn't matter if the person you're addressing is actually no longer alive. I've found these kinds of unsent letters to be the most liberating.

The unsent part is important, too. If your letter is to someone who is in fact still living, chances are you do not want them to see what you’ve written, at this time. Writing the letter might be a good way to sort through your feelings towards them, or how you might later speak with them. The letter is one way of addressing what is the important part of your concern.

Several years ago I wrote an unsent letter to my father who, at the time, had been dead for some twelve years. Giving voice to the emotions I'd long suppressed released something inside me. I was able to grow out of that unsent letter writing experience. The fact I had it published multiple times just shows that several people felt the same way I did about my father.

I hope you will take the time to try this technique in your own journal writing time, too. Please leave any comments in the section below.

Photo used with permission from Stock.xchng

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