We often hear our members thinking about one word: Family
It can be a biological family, an adopted family, or even a chosen family. But it’s our family. And that means a lot. And we might have a good relationship with them. We might feel supported by them and know that they’re there for us whenever we need them.
And yet, maybe we still wish our relationship went a bit deeper. That it felt closer and more connected. So this week we want to focus on relating to our family with greater authenticity, and more vulnerability. And that starts with being truly honest with ourselves about how we feel about our relationships. The good, the great, and the things we wish were a little different.
And while we can see what could help us feel closer to our family, perhaps there’s something getting in the way. Or something holding us back.
Perhaps, we’d like to be more vulnerable with our parents, but feel we have to stay “strong” because we don’t want them to worry about us.
Maybe we’d like to be more honest about how we live our life, but fear their disapproval, so we only show them the “good” parts of our lives.
Or perhaps we want family-time to be happy-time, so we hold back from opening up about anything too serious, because we don’t want to “spoil” the mood.
Or, we might not feel clear about what’s been holding us back. We just don’t know.
At Bloom we find that a successful approach is an exercise called the ‘Gratitude Letter’.
This is a letter to a family member. Where we express our feelings and appreciation.
And studies show that writing someone a letter is a great way to build a stronger relationship. And it’s not that we have to send the letter, although we can if we want to. But it’s actually the act of writing the letter where our feelings for this person become clearer in our minds, and our relationship with them can grow.
So open the Notes app on your phone, your computer or grab a pen and some paper. We’ll write this letter in three parts.
First, write about the personal qualities that we appreciate in this person. Think about their qualities that you admire, value and respect.
Then, write what we appreciate about our relationship with them. Think about what you enjoy about your relationship with them.
And finally, write what we would really like to express to this person. Start with, I’d say… I’d reveal… I’d ask…
Feel free to take your time. Let the feelings come, and the words flow. The letter doesn’t have to feel perfect. Just be as honest as you’re able to be. You can also send it, but you don’t have to. Just writing it down for yourself will help.
We all want to feel seen and understood by our family. So in writing our Gratitude Letter we’ve created the space to show ourselves to be as open, honest, and vulnerable as we’d like.
Because by showing who we really are we give our family the chance to deeply love us and really understand us. And, when we show ourselves we help others to show themselves too. And, when that happens relationships really grow. They can even blossom and bloom 🌺 .