Written by: Kristine Grant, Marriage & Family Therapist, Relationship Coach, and Creator of Inspired Heart Letters
Most likely, at one time or another, you can relate to feeling bitter, devastated, or emotionally stuck when a significant relationship feels like it’s on the rocks or even lost at sea. That is where I come in. I help people to reconcile, move past the rough patch, and even appreciate the challenge as a way to grow closer, resurrect what was lost, and cherish a newfound sense of clarity or peace with a much stronger, healthier bond.
Fortunately, and with passion, I found a novel way for helping clients to more rapidly reconnect, enhance, and recover from all sorts of interpersonal relationship trauma or challenges. I have a real knack for ghostwriting emotional letters for others with amazing success. Yes, believe it or not, I write letters for others who struggle to find the words to make a difference. I call my messages Inspired Heart Letters.
I am able to download the truth of a given matter, ghostwrite a powerful or compelling letter, which results in a remarkable shift within the dynamics of a relationship. Since I do not possess a particular client’s history, emotional imprints, or wounds, I can leap over their ego and touch the heart of their significant other in order to convey a deeply heartfelt communication. Writing a truly compelling letter can be a powerful way to begin the healing process. However, in today’s world, the power of the written word is somewhat forgotten. Emails, text messages, and other rapid-fire cyber communications may not accurately convey the heart’s true intention. Therefore, the opportunity for more thoughtful, inspired contemplation conveyed through an honest and sensitively written letter is something to cherish.
While I write letters and otherwise coach clients across a wide range of situations dealing with matters of the heart, I am amazed at just how many people have asked for my help who are disengaged from a family member or loved one they have not spoken to or seen for months, years, or even decades! Family estrangement is not often discussed due to the immense sadness, resentment, guilt, or shame that so often surrounds the rift. Most people do not readily reveal or discuss their feelings related to the deep disappointment and loss of love or connectivity with their child, parent, sibling, or significant other. There is often a sense of humiliation, guilt, betrayal, or false pride that maintains the unhealed status quo within a fractured family legacy. Yet this type of relational stress is one of my most popular letter requests.
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Clients who call on my letter-writing support are truly at a loss for words. While they sincerely wish to re-connect, heal the matter, or even let themselves off the hook by confessing their sins, the history or the circumstances related to the separation may be too overwhelming and they are hardened by too much time that has passed. They may fall victim to their own denial. Tragically, these long-standing family feuds too often are taken to the grave. On those mournful occasions, sometimes I am asked to write difficult family eulogies.
If you, or anyone you know, is dealing with any type of separation from a family member or loved one and truly wish to resolve the matter or find emotional relief … there are certain elements to consider before asserting your desire to reconnect:
Be clear with your intentions. You must consciously, and with an open heart, dive deeply in order to really face the truth. Sometimes there can be conditions or emotional baggage that prevents re-engaging. For example, you may be forced to swallow your pride and take corrective actions for reconciling. The ego can overshadow our true intention, whereby we may choose to hide from the truth or save face rather than admit we were wrong. Or we may become fixated on maintaining a need to be right and thereby make the other person wrong. However, confronting the truth objectively with humility can prevent the original wound from turning into a permanent scar.
Clean the karma and move toward healing. With an open heart, allow compassion for yourself as well as for your significant other. You are only responsible for how you are being … and no one else. Focus upon the ultimate best outcome for all considered. Given all the circumstances surrounding the relationship fall-out, be honest. Are you really willing, able, and ready to give your best shot for healing the matter? “It takes two to tango” … so what is it within yourself, (that was conveyed through your previous thoughts or actions), that it is now time to release and forgive? Try to consider the matter from your significant other’s perspective as well. We all have an opportunity to evolve through the trials and tribulations of the heart. Without standing on ceremony, view your relationship glitches as a gift or opportunity to exercise benevolence for yourself and others.
The Offering: Consider what you can offer to bless the aim toward reunification. What are you able and willing to do? Actions may speak louder than words. Convey your thoughtfulness and care for the other person by providing evidence of your sincerity. This may be tangible or intangible: declaring your acceptance, forgiveness, and gratitude. Or an invitation to be of active service, comfort, or emotional support for the other person. Certainly, a willingness to listen, spend time together, and mutually arrive at solutions, such as healthier boundaries, a commitment to change, or other ways to achieve a more loving connection, can be powerful.
I recently wrote a letter for a man, who I will refer to as Stan, who had a significant falling out with his mother. They had not spoken for nearly a year, although his elderly mom lived only 30 minutes away. Stan was divorced twice and the father of three children. He had a long-standing history of relationship difficulties with women, yet took pride in his parenting and positive, loving connection with his kids. Unfortunately, Stan had a sad, if not frightening, experience with his father growing up. He was the eldest of five children. His dad was described as a raging alcoholic, who often lost control. Unfortunately, Stan was usually the victim of his father’s violent aggression. Not too long ago, Stan was on a fishing trip with one of his brothers. His brother revealed how he had recently learned that a long-time family friend turned out to be his true biological father. Stan was surprised to say the least. With further investigation, he discovered that his difficult and abusive father was actually not his biological father either. Instead, he was told his “Uncle Jimmy” was his birth father. When Stan attempted to confront his mother, she went into hiding and would not answer the phone or open her door. Sadly, his mother was overcome with shame and guilt once this dark family secret was revealed.
Nevertheless, Stan had a deep desire to reconcile with his mother and move past the shock and grief. He was able to process his feelings, arrive at a healthier perspective, better understand his own history of personal relationship conflicts, acknowledge his deep desire to protect his children, and admit his need for real acceptance and mutual love. Not only was Stan’s honest, deeply moving letter to his mother a remarkable step for truly healing layers of family pain and remorse, but also he felt inexplicably empowered with his own ability to forgive, find compassion, and acknowledge his lovability. The value he placed upon having a more honest, loving relationship with his mom far outweighed the notion of maintaining a sense of blame, judgment, or continued separation and pain. Frankly, Stan chose to forgive her. The last I heard, Stan was taking his mom out to dine at her favorite Italian restaurant.
Family secrets can be a devastating and heavy burden to carry. Remember words are powerful. They can wound, heal, or invite more love.
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