Letters or a beautiful card with your words-- not the ones written by Hallmark folks-- hold the power to be white flags that beckon healthy dialogue between two people. Letters hold magic, give hope, feed inspiration...they have the power to heal. They are the original alchemists.
It was for that reason that I decided to include sample letters in my book. Written with profound love and care, letters can help kick start difficult conversations that we want to have with loved ones but are not sure how to start. Many times we just can't or don't know how to break the ice. I hoped that by including sample letters I could help others build bridges for understanding.
If you are having an issue with someone, why not a letter? If you are grateful for the loyal support a friend provides, a letter just because is a gorgeous gesture. (I'm writing a grateful for my momma today...)
I enjoy writing letters. When I'm happy or sad, when I'm in love or when I'm angry or when I'm feeling grateful to someone for being in my life, writing a letter always seems to help me. Sometimes these letters are burned, discarded or filed away. Many more times my letters are mailed or hand delivered to the person who inspired them. Old school letters are the best -- paper, envelope and a stamp -- but I found that in a pinch, emailing a letter helps too.
When was the last time you wrote a love letter? A grateful letter? A just because letter? If you're feeling a little down, a love letter to yourself might be good medicine.
Below is a recent note from a reader. It's beautiful and powerful. Thank you braveheart for your note and best of luck to you on your letter and conversation with your mother. It's hard, but oh so necessary and worth it.
I'm a 28, soon to be 29, Boricua born and raised in New Jersey. I have recently started reading your book and am wowed. I have only reached chpt. 2, but the first chapter almost had me in tears. I swear that it was written about MY relationship with MY mother. She is a wonderful woman who lives for her children. She's worked hard and along with my father have tried their best to provide me with the best they could. However, once I hit puberty the tension between us has grown. I consider myself a good hija and am an example of living my life to make THEM happy, not myself. I graduated with honors, both B.A and M.A., have a great job, and have lived on my own since I turned 23. Yet, like you wrote, "Nothing I ever did, except for excelling in school, was good enough." I plan on using the format of the letter you wrote, from hija para madre, to somehow connect with my mother. We've recently had a falling out because of my decision to move in with my bf. Her concern was not "lo que diran" but her fear of me losing my independence. I believe that letter along with what I have learned from that chapter will help heal the relationship and allow it to grow. I know I'm just in the beginning of the book, but I look forward to ask questions and voice my concerns as I continue reading. I also look forward to sharing what I've learn with those around me. Thank you for creating something that lets us know that we weren't and aren't alone in the circumstances and situations that we have faced and will continue to encounter as the new Latina generation. I thank you for the reason that you write.
Jersey City, NJ