Written words of gratitude warm the hearts of both recipient and writer. Each time we re-read letters of appreciation, time seems to melt, and we are right there again. Most of us are astonishingly grateful to get such precious words. But, how many times have you considered nourishing relationships by putting pen to paper and writing what is in your heart?
People appreciate letters of appreciation! If writing a gratitude letter appeals to you, let’s make it happen!
Make a List of People you Appreciate
Did you have a special teacher or mentor who made your world a better place? Do you have a sibling who has always got your back? Would you like to express appreciation to your parents or parents-in-law? Has a dear friend moved or married, so that you have lost frequent touch?
Stay with this task until you are satisfied and then compose a first draft to the top person on your list.
Make a Draft of Heartfelt Words
After you have decided upon the first person that you wish to appreciate, make a draft, letting the person know how they blessed you and express your gratitude for gifts (intangible) they have given you.
Here are the steps I use when writing heartfelt words of gratitude:
1. On a clean page, write the date and name of recipient.
2. Sit with the name a few minutes and direct your thoughts to past experiences you and the person shared.
3. When you are ready, write one or two sentences demonstrating what you admire about the person.
4. Using one admirable trait about the person, enhance the first experience. Where were you? What happened? When did it happen? How did this experience impact your life?
5. Go back through the draft and interject word-art composed of sensory details. (sight, sound, taste, touch and smell) For example, were the two of you enjoying a meal to celebrate some event? Following a poignant movie, did the person say something so profound that you still remember it verbatim? Did you smell coffee?
6. Reach into your deepest heart and let the words free-flow.
7. If you get “stuck”, work on enhancing “place”. What do you remember about your surroundings when the experience happened? (Place can also be where you were in your life and what the person said/did to help you.)
Polish your Appreciation Letter
You may construct the polished version of your appreciation letter on another blank sheet of paper, or if you’re comfortable with the contents, transfer to pretty stationery.
It is preferable to hand write written words of gratitude because your energy is stamped on the page. Should you perceive your handwriting as terrible, type it and hand write your signature.
People love getting stuff in the mail! Stamp the envelope, seal and send it.
You may get addicted to writing words of gratitude. And, that’s a good thing.
Source: Personal Experience
Inspired by article in Writer’s Digest 2002 “Writing Words to Treasure”