I’m participating in a 7-day challenge called the ARC Challenge held by Jesse Elder. A friend introduced me and invited me to join. In just a couple of days, I’ve experienced a lot of resistance to Jesse and his challenges. I guess that’s a good sign!
Yesterday, he asked us to write a letter to someone whose behavior caused us pain or contributed to our sense of harm. The letter is to address unfinished business with that person, so we can let go of the pain and baggage we’re carrying around. Often the pain comes from a person we care about. Maybe like me, you never wanted to confront them. By writing a letter, burning it and releasing the energy, we are freeing ourselves to move on and lighten up in life. This is Jesse’s definition of “enlightenment”; simply to lighten up.
This isn’t a new idea to me. I’ve done burning bowl ceremonies with Unity before, but I had to dig deeper this time to find someone that I felt had hurt me and where I’m still carrying the pain. I searched my mind and heart and found a person. It was the leader of a men’s group I participated in my thirties. I received much benefit, wisdom and connection from the leader and our group. However, one night the leader’s choices hurt me and seemed to violate the rules of our group. So I’ve written, burned and released a letter to this man.
Here are the suggestions for the process in case you feel you would like to release some old baggage.
- Think of someone whose behavior caused you harm and that you still have challenging feelings.
- Write a letter expressing all the feelings, the specific behavior, and your experience until you feel complete.
- Find and write about the lessons you received from this experience
- Who have you become as a result of this experience?
- Thank the person for helping you to become who you are today.
- Thank yourself for who you’ve become and the path you’ve taken. Acknowledge the courage, strength, pain, etc.
- Forgive the person in your heart and the letter.
- Burn the letter and release all related feelings of anger, fear, guilt. If desired, make a video of the burning ceremony to remember and honor the release.
- Congratulations! You’ve released old baggage and stuck energy. Now you have room to allow more of your true self to shine forth.
- You may want to make a ritual of doing this practice every few months, weeks or whatever feels right. I’m going to try once a week for a while.
By the way, my lessons were about trusting myself, reclaiming my power, compassion and becoming a leader. I may have more to write about this later.
May we rise and shine!