How To Write A Letter You May Never Send

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Relationship Challenges: How To Write A Letter You May Never Send
A pen and paper might be the final key to moving on.

Writing has a powerful effect on our emotional state. The following exercise is designed to help you fully express feelings that may have lain dormant for a long time, or may be too intense and jumbled for you to process effectively. You'll find it helpful in expressing what you feel, especially if you're having difficulty letting go, forgiving, grieving for or being appropriately angry at someone.

This letter is not designed to be mailed to anyone. After you write it, you may decide to write another appropriately adjusted for the other person to read. The point of this is to let your feelings out, uncensored and unedited. Begin by expressing your anger, resentment and blame, and allow yourself to move through the other levels until you get down to the love.

You may find your feelings begin pouring out as you write. If so, just go with what you feel. If you get stuck or confused, using the following suggested lead-in phrases may help you.

1. Anger And Blame:

  • I don't like it when...
  • I resent...
  • I hate it when...
  • I'm fed up with...
  • I'm tired of...

2. Hurt And Sadness:

  • I feel sad when...
  • I feel hurt because...
  • I feel awful because...
  • I feel disappointed because...

3. Fear And Insecurity:

  • I feel afraid...
  • I'm afraid that...
  • I feel scared because...
  • I don't understand...

4. Guilt and Responsibility:

  • I'm sorry that...
  • I'm sorry for...
  • Please forgive me for...
  • I didn't mean to...

5. Love, Forgiveness, Understanding And Desire

  • I love you because...
  • I love when...
  • Thank you for...
  • I understand that...
  • I forgive you for...
  • I want...

Now put the letter away for a couple of days, then re-read it and decide if you want to share part of it with the other person. If you're writing to someone who has passed on, you may want to burn the letter to symbolically "send" it.

Adapted from It Ends With You © 2003 Tina B. Tessina

This article was originally published at . Reprinted with permission from the author.

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Dr. Tina Tessina

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Tina B. Tessina, Ph.D.
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tina@tinatessina.com
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Location: Long Beach, CA
Credentials: LMFT, MFT, PhD
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