When I was a kid, I would slip notes under my mom’s bedroom door when I wanted to share something with her that I didn’t want to say out loud. If I was angry, I’d write a note. If I was upset, I’d write a note. I was more emotional in my Mother’s Day cards than I ever was in person. Writing my feelings was easier than speaking them.
That’s the case for a lot of people, actually. Because the truth is, even as adults, we feel vulnerable when we voice our innermost thoughts. We may feel awkward or exposed. And as a result, some of us choose to remain silent.
Today, as a personal historian who helps people write their memoirs, I know that many go through their entire lives without sharing the most intimate parts of themselves with those they love. Their feelings for family, their hopes, their fears, their disappointments, their successes. What brought them the most pain, the most joy, the most regret, the most pride. These most sacred feelings stay unspoken because … well because speaking them is not always easy. Or comfortable.
But writing them? Well, that’s a different story. When you write, you are able to share at your own pace, phrase things “just so,” go back and review what you’ve divulged after a period away. For those who find exposing their private thoughts to be unnerving, there is a buffer in writing. The truth is there, but there is a time-delay in transmission. For some, writing feels easier.
If you’re one of those people, honor the feelings you’ve kept buried deep in your heart. Don’t let these most treasured gems of who you are go unspoken – or unwritten.
Write your story. Let your family in.