We were sitting at a table outside of a Greek restaurant, sharing humus, salad, and pita. The sky was big and blue in the setting summer evening light. My patient friend was listening to me explain, again, how hung up I still was on my ex.
This was the ex I thought I’d never get over. The one I still fantasized about being with. The one who helped me bottom out so hard physically, emotionally, and mentally, that I had no choice but to reimagine my entire life, and start anew — spiritually-minded and deeply committed to a new life school curriculum that was unfolding day by day before my very eyes.
Over shared food, my friend asked if I wanted a suggestion for navigating this most recent bout of feelings arising in reference to my memories, fantasies, regrets, and grievances. I said, “Yes, of course!”
She laid out a simple writing assignment. The next day I sat on a bench by the river, put pen to paper, and cried my eyes out with the beautiful and comforting words that flowed from life through my own hand. This exercise helped me heal from heartbreak. After writing these three letters, I was able to embark on rigorous discernment practice, which then allowed me to truly forgive, accept, and release that ex from my psychic grasps.
Good news: This practice is free. This practice works. All that’s required is your willingness to participate in your own healing.
This writing prompt can give you relief and direction for difficult situations with an ex, parent, child, friend, co-worker, supervisor, current lover, or yourself. You can also use this exercise for great benefit when someone you love is dying or has passed away.
You’re going to write three letters. A writing implement, journal, or loose paper is recommended. If you only have a phone or computer available, typing will work, too. These letters are private and will not be shown to the person you’re having an issue with. Write freely, honestly, and without much thought. If you need some extra grounding vibes, light a candle and do a one song meditation to clear your mind.
When you’re ready, here are the three letters you will write:
1. Write a letter to the person you’re having a problem with.
2. Write a letter to god / life / the universe / higher power / quantum physics / your dog.
3. Write a letter from god back to you. Don’t over think things. Just write whatever comes out. Sometimes writing with your non-dominant hand can help you get going if you’re stuck in your head about this letter.
(See acronyms for g – o – d here, they are good.)
Take a deep breath. Then read over your letters. You can do this right away or the next day. It can feel very powerful to read these letters aloud to a trusted advisor. Again, these are not to be read to the person you’re having an issue with. Keep it cool, kids. Discretion is your friend.
If you’re ready for more resources on dealing with a challenging relationship, I highly recommend discernment practice, which is another free exercise that will remarkably change your life if you actually do it.
I’m sending you love, care, and luck on your healing journey.