Writing a love letter

If we have dif­fi­cul­ties with someo­ne in our life, we might spend some time alo­ne and wri­te a let­ter to him or her. We can wri­te the let­ter to someo­ne we see every day or, just as effec­tively, to someo­ne we have not seen for years. Many peop­le have found this prac­ti­ce hel­pful when wri­ting to a fami­ly mem­ber who was no lon­ger living. To do the work of recon­ci­lia­ti­on is a gre­at offe­ring we can make to our­sel­ves, our beloved ones, and our ances­tors. We recon­ci­le with our mother and father insi­de of us, and we might also dis­co­ver a skill­ful way to recon­ci­le with our mother and father out­side of us. It is never too late to bring peace and healing in our blood family.

Practice
Give yourself at least 3 hours to wri­te a let­ter using loving speech. While you wri­te the let­ter, prac­ti­ce loo­king deeply into the natu­re of your rela­ti­ons­hip. Why has a com­mon stand­point been dif­fi­cult? Why has hap­pi­ness not been pos­si­ble? You may want to begin like this:

My dear mother,
I know you have suf­fe­red a lot during the past many years. I have not been able to help you– you in fact, I have made the situa­ti­on worse. It is not my inten­ti­on to make you suf­fer, dear mother. Maybe I was not skill­ful enough. Maybe I tried to impo­se my ide­as on you, and I made you suf­fer. In the past I thought you made me suf­fer– that my suf­fe­ring was cau­sed by you. Now I rea­li­se that I have been respon­si­ble for my own suf­fe­ring, and I have made you suf­fer. As a son I don’t want you to suf­fer. Please help me. Please tell me of my unskill­ful­ness in the past so that I will not con­ti­nue to make you suf­fer, becau­se if you suf­fer I will suf­fer too. I need your help, my dear mother. We should be a hap­py cou­p­le, mother and son. I am deter­mi­ned to do it. Please tell me what is in your heart. I pro­mi­se to do my best to refrain from say­ing things are doing things that make you suf­fer. You need to help me, other­wi­se it is not pos­si­ble for me to do it. I can’t do it alo­ne. In the past, every time I suf­fe­red I was incli­ned to punish you, and say or do things that made you suf­fer. I thought that was the way to get reli­ef, but I was wrong. I rea­li­se now that anything I say or do that makes you suf­fer, next makes me suf­fer also. I am deter­mi­ned not to do it any­mo­re. Please help me.

You will find that the per­son who finis­hes wri­ting the let­ter is not the same per­son who began it.
Peace, under­stan­ding, and com­pas­si­on have trans­for­med you.
A mira­cle can be achie­ved in twen­ty-four-hours.
That is the prac­ti­ce of loving speech.

A prac­ti­ce of Engaged Buddhism