In this session, we started off with the idea that we all have a "story" about who we are. This is not necessarily a bad thing - it is part of being human - but sometimes our "story" no longer fits and we need to let go of it in order to write a new one.
So ask yourself this question: WHAT IS MY "STORY?" and AM I READY TO LET IT GO? (Some examples might be, "I am the 'good girl,'" or "I am the 'black sheep of the family.'")
As a way to let go of the part of the story that no longer fits, we did an exercise from the book, Radical Forgiveness by Colin Tipping. It is called The Three Letters Process. In this exercise you write three letters to someone who you feel has wronged you or in some way treated you badly. Choose someone who has been significant in your life and whom you feel forgiving might help to release you from your old story.
We began class by reading The Five Stages of Radical Forgiveness to get an idea about the process. You can download the text by clicking on the link above. Then we talked about The Three Letters Process before going off on our own for an hour or so to do the exercise. You can do this at home by downloading the reading, reading about the three letters process and then doing the exercise.
Afterwards we all came back together to share.
- Do some kind of a "release" ritual by burning the letters you wrote or shredding them. (Alternatively, you may want to put them some place safe where you can come back to them in a few months or years to see how things have shifted and changed for you.)
- Notice any changes in your relationship with the person you wrote the letters to. Does it feel like things have shifted? How? Do you feel differently about this person? Are the feelings stronger or less strong now? Journal about these feelings if you would like.
- Try the exercise again with another person in your life you would like to forgive in order to help you write your new story.