Share Your Blessings Generously
February 16, 2017
Blessing one another comes naturally to all of us here in the South. Who hasn’t heard, “Well, bless your heart” spoken to another person or “Bless you” when someone sneezes?
Offering blessings to another is also a powerful way to share your hard-earned wisdom, truest values and best wishes with others – family, friends, acquaintances, co-workers, professionals you count on, as well as others you may never know personally.
Your blessing is magnified many times when you give it serious thought with best intentions for all. Writing your blessing and mailing it to a special recipient reaps multiple rewards – right away and possibly far into the future.
Your written blessing can be that “gift that keeps on giving.” These words on paper may last beyond your lifetime to benefit descendants for generations. And that’s not all. Your act of writing the blessing may help you immediately with a renewed acceptance of yourself just as you are and a better understanding of your own life’s purpose.
The trick of turning your wisdom into a blessing is in how you word it. The words you use and the tone of your letter directly affects how it will be received. Be careful not to write your blessing as an indirect manipulative lesson. It’s not meant to instruct, scold or tell others how to live. Physician and author Rachel Naomi Remen says that a blessing should “touch the unborn goodness in another.”
Think of your blessing as a heart-centered letter of remembrance filled with your wishes, hopes and deepest values that you would like to convey to family, friends, and all people you consider special. You might even write a blessing letter to yourself.
A blessing letter contains three important parts – personal greeting, short remembrance and concluding with your blessing as a wish for the recipient. It may be no more than a page in length.
1. Begin with a special greeting such as, “My Dear Youngest Daughter,” “To my lifelong friend” or “A special message just for you, (fill in their name)” rather than simply saying, “Dear Sue.”
2. Next share a brief memory from your lifetime, writing in your natural voice as if you are speaking. This story should relate to your blessing for them. It may or may not be a positive, happy episode. Many of our most profound lessons in life come from painful and negative experiences.
3. The final paragraph is your blessing. Offer words from the list below or create your own beginning.
a. May you always…..
b. I wish for you ….
c. May you find …..
d. Because I love you …..
e. My hope for you …..
f. My deepest wish is that …..
Don’t hurry. Ask yourself questions. Is this letter being written for a special occasion or to mark a particular time? What example from my life is appropriate and applicable to the recipient? How can I impart my wisdom so that it will be heard and appreciated?
Jot notes to yourself as you recall your life-lessons. Take time to experiment with different words and combinations of ideas.
Put your written thoughts aside for a day or more before returning to reread and revise. It’s very easy to think the first draft is good enough. You’ll be grateful that you’ve taken this extra time and not shared it prematurely.
One hundred years from now in 2117, how will you be remembered? Will great-grandchildren reminisce and tell stories with their kids about ancestors such as you? Will your values and your hard-earned lessons still be appreciated and practiced?
Anything handed down from the past, particularly from the people who meant the most, is an inheritance that goes beyond money and possessions. Everything written – letters, poems, journals, fiction and nonfiction – if kept – becomes a legacy and a blessing for the future. Your blessing letter may last through generations.
A few books to help as you write Blessings are posted at: www.susanhendricks.com/resources. Scroll down to the list under Blessings and Legacy Writing.
Susan’s next personal journal writing groups begin March 2, 2017, limited space available. For more information or to share your thoughts, email [email protected] or post in the Comments Section below.