‘You cannot heal a wound by saying it is not there.’(Jeremiah 6:14))
When someone hurt us in the past, or if we have done something that we are ashamed of, we may have felt compelled to keep silent. Perhaps we felt too intimidated or frightened to respond, or maybe it was impossible for us to express our feelings.
Today, let us articulate our anger through the use of writing and rewriting of negative letters. I say ‘rewriting’ because you may have to make several attempts at these letters before you actually get in touch with your feelings.
I like to call this healing process Angry Letter Exercise.
Note to self
You can do these exercises alone however, it is good to have a listening ear of a trusted friend or qualified therapist to help you work through this process.
It is important to stress however that these letters are for your eyes only and when written you destroy them immediately.
It is such a good feeling to tear these letters in tiny pieces, bless him and burn them, saying loudly as that ‘I release you and let you go. You no longer have any hold over me.’
The blessing, burning and releasing is a vital component of the healing process.
The Process: Participating in the Angry Letter Exercise
Before you begin, set a sacred space for yourself by allowing an uninterrupted hour for this exercise. Furthermore, you will need plenty of pages to write on and a fireplace or some safe place where the letters can be burnt without interference.
Have a full box of matches handy — it is terrible when you go to all the trouble of writing these letters and then cannot burn them!
Start your letter as you would any other with the usual greeting — for example, ‘Dear Mary’. If you are writing to yourself, address yourself in the third person.
Don’t worry about neatness, grammar or spelling It is important to express exactly how you feel, using bad language, if necessary, since this mechanism will allow the venting of angry feelings. Using the left hand helps us to get in touch with the emotional part of the brain, or vice versa, for a left-handed person.
When you have finished writing, tear the letter into tiny pieces, saying to yourself that it doesn’t have to be this way. Say something like: ‘These feelings no longer rule my life; I am in control; I release you; I release myself from the pain of the past.’
When the letters are reduced to a tiny bundle of paper, bless them with holy water or salted water and burn them. The ritual of burning and blessing is a symbol of cleansing and renewal.
Allow yourself some time to recover after doing the writing, blessing and burning. Imagine that you are breathing in energy and light and releasing stress from your body. It may be necessary to repeat this ritual on several different occasions, learning to forgive takes time and patience.
When we release anger safely in a therapeutic environment, the chances of our projecting outwards and hurting someone else is greatly reduced. When we hurt someone, we need forgiveness. Before we are ready to ask another for forgiveness, we must first forgive ourselves. Forgiveness of the self requires a deep understanding of the fragility of human weakness. When we do manage to forgive others, and ourselves we evolve into more compassionate, loving and spiritually aware human beings. In the next post I will introduce another forgiveness exercise which I refer to as a ritual, the reasons for which will become clear on the day.
Important note to self
I will not post Irish Mammy or otherwise for another fourteen days. The reason for this is simple, time is needed for relaxation when participating in work of this nature. You have worked hard and your body needs time to recover. Thus, for the next fourteen days I would ask you to participate in the relaxation exercise below for ten minutes in the morning and evening. Trust me you will be surprised how more energetic and alive you will feel.
The Relaxation Exercises
This time like before in the other relaxation exercises, I will ask you to still your mind by focusing on the senses. And, just like we have done so often we will begin this exercise with the breathing.
- As you focus on your breathing, say to yourself: ‘I am breathing in goodness and light, and breathing out any stress that is trapped in my body.’ Repeat this five times.
- With your eyes closed, imagine your sight extending beyond your scope of vision, and returning back to you, refreshed.
- Open the palms of your hands and imagine your fingers reaching to the heat and energy of the sun, and returning to you refreshed.
- Listen to the sounds around you, and allow your ears to extend as far as the farthest whispering of the universe, returning to you refreshed.
- Inhale the aromas that are surrounding you. Now, let your senses move out from your immediate experience to all scents of the planet, and return to you refreshed.
- Take several deep breaths and as you do repeat the following words:
‘I am breathing in goodness and light, and breathing out any stress that is trapped in my body.’
Return to you day feeling refreshed and ready and to greet the joys and challenges of you day and smile. You are alive: A Miracle of Creation