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.
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