The Feeling Letter: How to Communicate Difficult Feelings to a Loved One
Have you ever been hurt in a relationship to the point where you’re hanging onto negative emotions and you can’t seem to get past what happened?
Are you wishing you could share these difficult feelings with your partner or loved one but you don’t know how or you’re afraid you’ll make it worse?
There’s a technique I created called “the feeling letter” that allows you to release the stress and pain that you’re feeling inside and communicate what is necessary to move forward.
In this post, I walk you through how to write this life-changing letter and how it can help you move past the hurt so you can be open to moving on and receiving (and giving) love again.
The Feeling Letter Technique
In 1984, I wrote my first book, which is called What You Feel You Can Heal. In that book, I outlined probably the most powerful self-development tool that has influenced my life, and I know it's influenced the lives of millions of people. In most of my books, I do mention it towards the end, and it's called the Feeling Letter Technique. Now, in my first book, What You Feel You Can Heal, I called it the love letter technique.
The concept is this: Whenever you're stressed, if you can't just let it go, you're subconsciously gripping on to negative emotions. By bringing your attention, bringing your awareness to your emotions — not just what you feel — you feel rejected, you feel ignored, you feel inadequate. Feeling is actually the way we know what's inside ourselves. When you can know the emotions, the painful emotions that are associated with stress, the stress you're feeling, then suddenly you can release it.
Four Levels of Magic Emotions
The idea is to go through a series of specific painful emotions that are universal to everyone. As you go through these four levels, a shift will take place and you'll get in touch with the actual desire — we might even call it your soul's desire — which is being frustrated and that's what gives rise to painful emotions.
Let's say I want to be successful and I have a belief over here that says I will never succeed. Then all it takes is for something to happen where there's a setback and suddenly I feel conflicted, and another part of me goes, "Oh, but you'll never get it." Now I'm going to feel angry, I'm going to feel sad, I'm going to feel afraid, I'm going to feel regret. I might feel guilty. There are various emotions, they're painful emotions that if you feel these specific emotions, something unlocks and they get released and you get in touch with your pure desire underneath.
Then after writing out your pure desire underneath, it's like this seed of wisdom emerges from within yourself, the soul's wisdom comes forth. Love comes forth, wisdom comes forth, forgiveness comes forth. The ability to resolve any stress immediately comes forth if you take the time to reflect on your emotions. This is most powerfully done if you use both sides of your brain, which means to not just feel the emotion, (that's on the right side), but to give the emotion a name and to express it, (that's the left side). By doing that in this process, the Feeling Letter Technique, you're also linking the front part of your brain to the middle part of the brain, where all of these reactions are taking place. When you connect it to the front part of the brain, that's where the wisdom comes forth.
This is a process you can do by yourself to release stress immediately, particularly in your marriages and your relationships, when you're mad at your partner, when you're upset, when you're shutting down. When you are closing your heart, sit down and write this feeling letter. You don't necessarily have to give it to your partner, but you pretend that you're able to say whatever you feel.
Anger and Sadness
You start out by feeling the four magic emotions. The first is anger, frustration, or rage, where you feel mad at somebody. Those are the first four. You just freely express yourself, you're not going to hurt anybody. You do that for a couple of minutes and then you go to the next level, which is to feel the feelings of sadness, disappointment, or hurt. You just explore those and write them out. You're feeling those emotions as you're writing them.
Then the next level, after a couple of minutes of that, what you're afraid of, what you're concerned about, or what you feel scared about, any of those emotions. As you write those out, you'll feel it more strongly and you'll feel the pain. That's why it's so hard for people to do this — unless somebody teaches them to do it, unless we say my intention is to feel the pain so it will go away. It's like having a sore muscle and someone gently massages it, the pain will increase a bit, and then it will relax and go away.
You go through those three levels, then the fourth level is what you feel embarrassed about or what you regret, what you feel sorry about, or what you feel ashamed of. That's the deepest level. When you get to that, by exploring those emotions, then ask yourself, "What is it that I want? What is it that I wish? What is it that I need?" Express that for a couple of minutes, and then the resolution takes place. The stress is now starting to dissipate as you get in touch with what you appreciate, what you're grateful for, what you understand, and what you trust. If there's some issue of blame involved, what I forgive that person for, or if you're blaming yourself, what I forgive myself for.
This is such a powerful tool that anybody can use. Just doing this will immediately cause, within 15-20 minutes, your stress level to dramatically drop. You'll gain a greater perspective so you can let go of these stresses that hold us back.
Grow in love,
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