Powerful Journal Writing Technique: The Unsent Letter

Discussion in 'Self Improvement' started by 1978, Apr 13, 2019.

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  1. 1978

    1978 Fapstronaut

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    I do a lot of private journal writing. I find it helps me to sort through my thoughts and feelings.

    One technique I've been doing a lot of recently is writing unsent letters to people.

    You write a letter to someone, but with no intention of ever sending it. It just goes in your private journal. But you write it as if you are actually writing a letter to that person, but being able to say everything you want to say to them.

    It can be really powerful. it allows you to fully explore your thoughts and feelings about someone as if you were confronting them directly, but with no consequences because they will never get to read it.

    I use Penzu.com, which is password protected, so I can really let rip whenever I write in my journal.
     
  2. Michaeldra

    Michaeldra Fapstronaut

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    Sounds interesting. might try it!
     
  3. 1978

    1978 Fapstronaut

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    Another powerful journal writing technique that I actually use more often is what I call UHTD. That stands for "Unhappy, Happy, To Do".

    With this technique, I write 3 lists:
    • Things I'm unhappy about
    • Things I'm happy about
    • To do
    I've often heard it said that it's beneficial to write a "Gratitude Journal" where you list all the things from the day that you are grateful for this. This is exactly that, but also includes the things I'm not grateful for. I think it's important to be fully aware of what I'm not happy about. Then when I come to write the "To do" list, it's based on the previous two lists. For anything I'm not happy about, is there something I can do tomorrow that will improve that? But also, for things that I am happy about, can I do more of those things or make them even better?
     
  4. Æthelweard

    Æthelweard Fapstronaut

    Hey man sounds interesting, especially the letter thing!
    But how do you cope with stuff you are unhappy about for days/weeks or years. I found some old journals of myself from a few years back and I found I still have the same stuff I want to do or am unhappy about. Do you think it helps to keep repeating the same 'negative' stuff every day? even if it makes you feel a little desperate or worthless?
     
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  5. RAWMagic

    RAWMagic Fapstronaut

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    I think this is a solid approach and sound techniques 1978. I myself ask every day "What Good Will I Do Today?"

    I write:
    Morning Pages - These are three pages stream of consciousness. This is to clear the gunk. It's function is to alleviate me of I am unhappy about, show me what is bringing me joy, and give me clarity for action.

    I then write one page of story practice.

    And lastly, a page dedicated to focusing my day. This is broken down into:
    Thesis - I state my chosen purpose and intention for the day.
    Affirmation - I write and read aloud 6 - 10 positive "I Am" statements about myself.
    Gratitude - I write 4 - 6 things I wish to give thanks and praise for.
    Acts - My actions for the day. Guided by the question: What Good Will I Do Today? Or What Do I Need To Do Today So that I Can Die In Bliss?

    Thanks for sharing. Keep up the good work.

    Æthelweard - I have a similar experience. I've been writing for many many years and keeping a journal. Most of my fears are still the same. I still have dreams I will be unfaithful, womanising philandered. Or a conquerer, slaughtering multitudes of people. I still wake up with aches and pains and stiffness. I still feel lost at times.

    This is my path. I would venture to say it is all our paths.

    The daily practice of keeping a journal, if you use it with wise questions and outward action in the world, is a powerful tool for liberating yourself from such pains and fears. They don't got away. You simply develop the strength and presence to go deeper than them, to feel through them, and continue to act with integrity, skill and presence towards you chosen purpose.

    Most great artists simply make art out of the pains of being alive. Sometimes joy also. But mostly pain.

    You can withold your gift, and suffer. Or suffer and give your gift.

    The choice is ours.

    Strength and courage!

    Magic Out.
     
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  6. Æthelweard

    Æthelweard Fapstronaut

    Thanks for the advice!
    I guess I should face my unhappiness right on and stop hiding away from it!
     
  7. 1978

    1978 Fapstronaut

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    No, the list of things I'm unhappy or happy about relates to recent things, mainly just things that have come up in the past 24 hours. If there is something that is an ongoing problem, there is nothing really to be gained by continually writing that you are unhappy about it.

    Well, if it's a new problem that keeps emerging over several days or a week, you could keep writing it down, with the idea that you could come up with "to do" tasks that will address the problem. But for longer term issues, that either requires going deeper and figuring out the root causes and finding a constructive way through them, or coming to some kind of acceptance.

    There are some things we can't do anything about, and some things we can do things about. For example, I'm not a muscly bodybuilder. I just don't have the body type for it, so I just need to accept that. But I am single, and I almost certainly CAN do something about that.
     
  8. Souvent08

    Souvent08 Fapstronaut

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    Great Idea! I need to do this for my ex girlfriend. I’ve been meaning to write to her but maybe I should still write and not send it. Thanks
     
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  9. 1978

    1978 Fapstronaut

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    Yes, and you could even do both. You could pour all your thoughts and feelings into an raw unedited version, then you could edit it down as the "nice" version to send to her?
     
  10. Souvent08

    Souvent08 Fapstronaut

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    I think I need to do that. Thanks for the tip. I will do that.
     
    1978 likes this.
  11. Cake Shop

    Cake Shop Fapstronaut

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    Correct. You could even write the opposite. What are you grateful about today/yesterday/in this moment? Problems also need perspective. If you write down your problems, they leave your mind but you must solve them or reconcile with them or they'll keep coming back. Just like old memories. "What would my life be today if I made a different choice that day?" kind of question pops up to us all for unresolved past issues.



    As 1978 said, you could do both. You might find that after you write your letter, you don't want to send it anymore. That you have made peace. But if you would like her input on your situation, I would suggest you send it to her. You'd be surprised at how people respond and it gives you better closure - whatever the response of the other person might be.
     
  12. Souvent08

    Souvent08 Fapstronaut

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    I will do that. It’s been a while since I’ve had the idea in my head but now I really need to act on it.
     
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  13. 1978

    1978 Fapstronaut

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    This is why the "To do" list part of it is so important. What can I do today that will address the things that I am unahppy about?
     
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  14. Cake Shop

    Cake Shop Fapstronaut

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    I see what you mean. Makes sense. If there's something one can do to change then one must do it.
     
  15. bikinhappy

    bikinhappy Fapstronaut

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    Awesome, how many minutes you spent for this daily?
     
  16. 1978

    1978 Fapstronaut

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