This activity was always going to be a challenge for me. As you might know, Activity 2 was about trying to make me more comfortable at giving and receiving thanks and praise. Extrapolating from this you would be correct in guessing that I have not been very forthcoming about letting people in my life know how important and influential they have been.
That is the reason that I wanted the letters associated with the activity to be very meaningful and important. It was also what made them more challenging.
During the 30 days I wrote six letters: three to friends, one each for my brother and sister, and one for my partner Derek. All of the letters said something that I had never said before, some said a lot of things that I had never said before. Some of the messages in the letters were just a formalisation of things that had previously been said.
I made an effort to make them all a little special as well. They were all made into some sort of booklet to make them a little more special than a standard letter.
It was even more difficult to write some of these than I had thought it would be. There is just something about committing something to paper that someone will read without you being there to explain that is extremely daunting. I was particularly concerned about my sister’s letter, since I was raising many things that I had never spoken with her about.
As I mentioned on the post for the last day, I had also planned to write letters to my parents. But since I was feeling a bit depressed during the last week or so of this activity I decided that was not a good idea. I love my parents, but there is a lot of negative history that I wanted to avoid including in these letters, and being depressed was going to make that hard to achieve. I still intend on writing these letters down the track, I just need to be in the right place for that to happen.
So how did it go?
As hard as this activity was, I really enjoyed it and felt that I got a lot out of it. It helped me say things that I had always struggled to say to people. It was also a great creative process to make these booklets with these special messages for important people in my life.
The feedback I have received has also been very positive. So all in all I think that this one has been a pretty successful. I will write my parents’ letters in the coming months and may even write a few other letters that I considered for this activity but just didn’t have enough time to really execute.
I really would encourage everyone to have a go at this one. It is so rare for people to receive written correspondence these days, and just think about how much you would appreciate receiving a handwritten letter from someone special to you letting you know how special you are to them.
Thank you Lakshmi for a wonderful TED talk and a lovely idea worth sharing.