Prompt #9 - A Letter of Gratitude
To our helpers and problem-solvers
Earlier this week we talked about the importance of asking people for help. Being closely connected to other people allows us to realise that we're not alone, no matter what the world throws at us. It gives us a sense of being loved, and of safety and security. A fact that we tend to doubt sometimes.
To help us remember, we can remind ourselves of the many people in our lives that have already helped us along the way—some in very small ways, some in more considerable ways.
Today, we will choose one of those people and write them a thank you letter for the support they have given us.
The Activity: Write a letter of gratitude to a person that has helped you in your life
Step 1: Choose the person
Think about some of the most positive events in your life - overcoming a difficult situation, getting a step closer to your big objectives, realising a wish you've had for a long time. Who were the people that helped you make it happen? Is there a specific person that stands out?
Step 2: Write them a thank you letter
On a piece of paper, or digitally if you prefer, write a letter to the person you've chosen. Tell them what positive impact their actions have had on your life, and how grateful you are to them.
Step 3: Reflect
How many more letters like this could you write? Are there people who have helped you in more ways than one? Could you turn to these people the next time you are faced with a difficult situation?
Step 4 (optional): Send the letter
If you feel up for it, send your letter to the person in question. I am sure they will feel amazing hearing how much of an impact they have had on your life. And so will you.
The first person that comes to my mind, as I'm sure is true for many people, is my mother. She has helped me in more ways than I can count, some of which I'm still discovering as I get older and have a family of my own.
I also love a good list, so I couldn't help myself from using this format here. “You won't believe the last one!” (That's not true, you probably totally will.)
I wanted to write you this letter to thank you for everything you have done for me, and for turning me into the woman I am today. A woman, I'm happy to say, I'm quite proud of and I hope you are, too.
When I was a kid, I thought you knew everything, could do anything, and could solve any problem. I thought that's just what adults did. I now know that that's not true.
It's not at all easy being a badass business woman, an amazing mother, a great chef, a loving wife, an active community member, a fantastic host, and much more, all at the same time. But somehow you made it happen, and you always looked amazing doing it.
Thank you for
being the best role model of a strong woman, that a girl could hope for
turning me into an independent woman of my own
knowing what was best for me at times when I didn't
making me feel like it was my idea in the first place
always taking me seriously, and letting me make my own mistakes
trusting me to be okay while being out and making my own mistakes
being there to pick up the mess when it didn't work out
pushing me to figure out some of the more difficult life questions
teaching me that money doesn't come from the bank
and that the house doesn't magically clean itself
sparking my interest in cooking. (Although my potato salad will never taste like yours)
showing me how to be a great mother. I'm still novice level, but I'll get there.
sharing your life story with me, and teaching me that it's easy to get through the best of times, but that you can also make it through the shittiest of times.
Thank for all of this and so much more.
I love you,
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I've made this exercise once, in postcard for Christmas. It was a lot more emotional than what I was expecting. It is a very good one, because you realize that a lot of times, you've actually never said those words to the person.
Do it. Make it count. Make them smile (with or without tears). :)