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Friday, 20 April 2018

A Guide To Writing Unsent Letters

Unsent Letters

The method of writing ‘Unsent Letters’ is a popular journal writing technique I would advise you to try. 

Unsent Letters are great because you don’t have to send them. 

When writing an Unsent Letter your in a position where you can openly express yourself. 

There are various types of Unsent Letters you could potentially write.
-Letters To Unborn Child 
-Letters To Deceased 
-Love Letters
-Unrequited Love Letters 
-Letters To Resolve Conflict
-Apology Letters 
-Forgiveness Letters
-Thank You Letters
-Letters To Vent & Express Anger 
-Letters Of Gratitude 
-Imaginative Hypothetical Letters 

 Unsent Letters are intended to be Unsent.  This way you are safe in the knowledge that whatever you write is for your sole benefit.

This adds a level of comfort and security, knowing that everything you write and say is for your eyes only!

So let’s say you wanted to curse and be explicitly angry with your boss you can freely do so within an Unsent letter without risking loosing your job.

That being said If you write a letter and decide to actually send it, that’s entirely up to you. 

This method is about you gaining the benefits of using this method which I will be covering in this blog. 

Benefits of Writing Unsent Letters: The Three C’s


The first time I heard the word ‘Catharsis or Cathartic ‘ I never knew what the word meant. It wasn’t until over 10yrs ago when I was randomly watching a Tyler Perry Interview on YouTube and he explained his career as a script writer started from watching an Oprah show where she said that ‘writing was cathartic for the soul’.

 At the time I didn’t know what the word meant then but when I looked the word up, the penny dropped. I clearly understood what Oprah meant as I was experiencing catharsis from writing in my own life at the time. 

I’ve utilised Writing Unsent Letters a lot over the years and it really is a technique that allows you to gain psychological release. 

Had it not been for journalling technique’s such as this I wouldn’t have been able to navigate through some of the most complexing emotions I have experienced throughout my life.

 I advocate writing as a tool for personal and spiritual development primarily because I know from experience catharsis is a fundamental benefit of journalling.

You can experience powerful release from writing one paragraph, one sentence or one word and still gain cathartic benefits. 

When you write Unsent Letters you have the opportunity to gain closure. This is especially the case if you use this method to write to someone who has deceased. You get the opportunity to say all the things you may feel you never had the opportunity to say to them before they died. You get to say that one last I love you, say thank you for everything that person has done for you or give an explanation of the impact that person has had on your life whether it be good or bad. In doing so, your able to gain some form of closure and cathartic release

A feeling of wholeness and complete satisfaction can occur when you are able to gain closure.

During my LIVE Facebook discussion on this technique within my group. I talked about the fact that Unsent Letters are also a great tool to use to gain closure in the aftermath of a break up. I explained that from my own experiences of relationship breakdowns, using this tool was useful in gaining closure. Especially if the break up had caused significant emotional distress for both parties and communication between both parties is awkward. 

Break ups are tough sometimes and breakdowns in communication, mis communication and negative hostile communication only creates more distress, arguments and an inability to release and let go of what needs release.

I basically explained that sometimes when you go through a break up the back and forth exchange isn’t always useful. Each and every time this is done it is like digging up shit. 

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I advised in these instances it’s best to allow things to settle, take some time out and gain closure for yourself through the sacred art of writing Unsent Letters instead. This way you can resolve and work through the who did this, who did that, how that made you feel, where do you want to go from here stuff on your own in your own time without engaging in emotional entanglements that could further complicate the situation. 

Getting clarity through journalling is about getting clear, crystal clear thought and dispelling any fogs of confusion, unknowing and uncertainty. Lack of clarity leads to confusion, confusion leads to a sense and feeling of being lost in the maze of your mind and emotions. 

Unsent Letters can help you can clarity on confusing, emotional, painful, angst emotions through the process of giving those feelings expression and release. Which allows you to come to terms with these emotions, acknowledge them and move on. 

 You get to cut out all the BS and tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth. You get to express yourself honestly and truthfully in a way you might not necessarily be able to if you were to speak to someone face to face, or communicate via other modes of communication.
Yet Unsent Letters need not be all about angst and pain. Unsent Letters can also be used to express, love, adoration and gratitude.
Getting clear on these emotions is of  great value, as your able to use the expression of your positivity as a pick me ups.

Advice & Tips For Writing Unsent Letter

-Don’t Censor; Don’t Edit.
When writing an unsent letter the purpose isn’t for it to be sent so don’t worry about 
Grammar/Punctuation, Full stops, Capital Letters etc. Correct Spelling is irrelevant. The process of writing this letter is for you not anyone else. Get messy if you want. Neat handwriting isn’t a necessity nor is Legibility as no one needs to read or understand what you’ve written but you!

-Unsent Letters Don’t Hurt Anyone.
Considering the fact that unsent letters are not getting sent you don’t have to worry about hurting anyone’s feelings. 

Many times we withhold speaking our truths or telling people what we really think or feel because we are afraid to hurt their feelings or scared of what response we may get if we say what we really want to say to them. With an Unsent letter you don’t have to worry about. If you intend to write an Unsent letter for the purpose of expressing anger, frustration, hurt, pain or blame the hassle of feeling you are hurting anyone with blunt, harsh words is eliminated. You get to say what you mean and mean what you say, judgement free, without hurting or harming anyone’s ego or feelings. 

-Your Unsent Letter can be to anyone or anything 
Write a letter to your Pet, Children, Unborn Child, Partner, Family, Friends, Associates, Strangers, Idols, Celebrities, God, Guardian Angels, You Decide! 

There is no limit, you can write a letter to anyone and anything. 

You could write a letter to a body limb that needs healing, you can write a letter to any disease and tell it to F off and be gone. For example those affected by cancer, tell  cancer exactly how you feel, tell it how it’s impacted your life etc 

-Start Your Letter With A prompt this can be used as scaffolding or as a Springboard to get you started. 
I provide writing prompts on my Instagram page: primarily because I know how daunting it can be to start on a blank page and be stuck with where to start. Examples of starting Prompts you can use to write an Unsent letter are; “ I’m afraid to tell you how I feel about....”
“I want you to know that....”
“What I love about you is....”

-Freely Use Your imagination by writing A Letter To yourself from someone else.  
This is a technique I learnt from Kathleen Adams journal writing pioneer. Here you get to use your imagination. Especially if you try writing a letter to yourself from the perspective of another person. 

You get to role play out what you imagine they have to say to you about you. Bare in mind this is solely your perspective on what they have to say and it bares no influence on what they actually think, believe or would actually say to you.

Imaginative Hypothetical Letters like this give you an opportunity to explore your thoughts and feelings about yourself from an entirely different angle. 

I especially enjoy writing letters to my younger self and letters to my future self in an alternative reality. A method you too can try! 

For example if you were to write a note to your younger self in three words only what would you say? 

Your younger self or self in an alternative reality will never receive these letters but you in the present moment will and you may well surprise yourself with the sorts of things you actually write and come up with. I have wowed myself plenty of times with these sorts of letters. 

Often times I’m like where did that come from, that’s amazingly insightful and wise. There’s something about this method that entices your higher self to come into play and guide you into writing exactly what needs to be said, so indulge yourself and see what happens when you try.

-Write Letters To God “Dear God Letters” are a common journal technique. As mentioned in my LIVE Facebook discussion on this technique within my group writing a letter to God is not technically an Unsent Letter. As God, the universe and source can read just as well as hear spoken word. Therefore whatever we write or have intention on will be communicated and received so it’s not necessarily Unsent. Yet it’s not a letter you are just handing or posting to God either so we’ll just throw this one in there too. 

I would also urge you to try your hand at writing Dear God Letters. Whether it be to express gratitude, express prayers, ask for help and support or simply converse about what’s taking place in your life as you would with a dear friend. 

Also Try Writing Letters FROM God “What Would God Say?” sitting down and imaging God is writing to you is entirely different from Dear God Letters and it proves to be a magical experience to sit with yourself and write down what you believe God would say to if given the chance to write you a personal letter. 

My personal journal to self journey started from writing Dear God Letters (I’ll share more on this part of my story within my about page). But growing up I was very much inspired by the collection Dear God Letters from my favourite novel The Color Purple by Alice Walker. This novel won the 1983 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the National Book Award for Fiction. It was later adapted into a film and musical of the same name. 

The film to this day is still one of my all time favourite films and perfectly brought to life the contents of the novel. If you haven’t read the novel or watched the film I would urge you to do both. 


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