Courtesy of: Sean Smith, founder of Elite Coaching University
Human beings operate under 6 basic layers of emotion. They are: Love/Appreciation, Desire, Regret, Fear, Pain, and Anger. If you think of it as a building, with love/appreciation at the bottom, it would look like this…
Each emotion cannot exist without the emotion(s) below it. If we look at it from that perspective, when you feel anger towards a loved one, under the anger is all the other feelings in the “emotional building.” In order to deal with one, you must address them all.
Choose a person in your life from past or present that you feel you hold some lingering negativity or a sense of “unfinished” or “unexpressed” emotion. Begin with the writing prompt, “I am angry that/I was angry when…” and pour out your heart. Write until you can’t feel the emotion anymore and don’t be concerned about the “correctness” of the words. Just write. When you feel you have nothing more to express, move onto the next prompt. It doesn’t matter if it’s a few lines or pages in length. When you are done…you’re done. Do the same for each prompt in order. Do it until you exhaust the feeling. If you have trouble coming up with something to write, sit with it a moment. Think of that person intently. The words will come.
“I was angry when you didn’t believe I was sick when I was seven years old.”
“It hurts me when you tell me not to feel a certain way because I have every right to feel the way I do.”
“I am scared that when you die, I’ll never feel safe again.”
“I am sorry that I never got the chance to make things up to you.”
“What I really want is for both of us to finally be happy.”
“I appreciate that you gave me my faith through your religion.”
[ANGER] “I am angry that/I was angry when…”
[PAIN] “It hurts me when/I was hurt when…”
[FEAR] “I am scared that…”
[REGRET] “I am sorry that/I regret that…”
[DESIRE] “What I really want is…”
[LOVE] “I love and appreciate you for…”
And Now…? What should you do with the letter now that it’s complete? Do whatever feels right to you. If it serves you best to keep the letter hidden away in a box filled with past memories, save it. If you want to burn it up in your wood pellet stove, do it. You need to feed it into a document shredder and make memory confetti out of it? Go for it. Do what YOU need to do with it. And embrace your life from here.
PLEASE NOTE – This activity is meant for YOU and YOU alone. This is not about clearing the other person’s feelings or letting them know what you thought of them all along. It is not written with the goal of sharing. This way it frees you to express yourself using the most honest and raw language that you desire. Keep nothing back. It is not important whether the person is alive or deceased. The act of writing alone can heal you.