Fixing Families

Tools for walking the intergenerational tightrope

Dear me: Time to take stock

It's always a good time to see where you are

There is a few-year-old song by country star Brad Paisley entitled “Letter to Me.” (check it out on YouTube). This exercise is based on the same idea and can be a great way to reflect on your life and where you are right now. 

Basically what you do is write a letter to yourself. Obviously on the heels of New Year’s or your birthday are obviously good time for this reflection – but anytime is fine. Find a quiet place and time, and begin your letter, Dear _______ (your name here).

Then reflect over the last year (or whatever the time period has been since the last one). Think of it as a self-evaluation like what you would receive at work, with all the pros and cons – “You’ve done a great job with…” “You’ve should have worked harder at…” Think of your writing self as a fair and kindly parent or grandparent reflecting and giving advice. Finally include anything that was important to you – big changes at work or in relationship, changes you’ve noticed in yourself – more confident, more anxious – and challenges and goals for the next year – travel more, meditate, spend more time with family, learn to play guitar.

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Use this as a time for deep reflection – seeing your life from that wider and deeper perspective that goes beyond the daily (tough day) or weekly (good week) one-liner. What you are doing here is stepping back, listening and communicating with your inner self. And if you are going through a time of change, this can be especially helpful.

 Give it a try. Not a bad habit to practice.

 

Bob Taibbi, L.C.S.W. has 40 years of clinical experience. He is author of 6 books and over 300 articles and provides training nationally and internationally.

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