Let’s Burn Those Letters

I just finished my last class at 10:50 in Korean time (and I’m sleepy), but this is a long overdue entry (and I just got back from vacation), so I have to write.

“Breathe life into your story/Send them on to a safer home/Burn it into secrecy,” the Indigo Girls had sang. I’ve never been the type to tear up (Okay, once) or burn a letter (All right, maybe twice!). I used to think that it’s too melodramatic even for a drama queen like me.

I changed my mind just a couple of weeks ago, after listening to my pastor preach about soul ties… how they are formed, the kind of damage a soul tie can do to your future relationships, and why they cause you to stumble in your walk of faith. According to Shyju Mathew of Guarding the Heart, a soul tie is ” the deep bond that is developed between two or more individuals through an unhealthy relationship leading to addictive, manipulative or even violent behaviour.” Soul ties can be formed in various types of relationships, including those borne out of fantasy. Since I’m no expert in the matter, I would suggest that you read The Dangers of Soul Ties in his blog if your relationships are troubled right now, or if you had just gotten engaged and would like to make sure that you’ve tied all your loose ends before “I do,” or if you can simply relate to what I’m saying. (There you’ll read detailed explanations and learn how you can break those soul ties. I know I’m losing my reader this way, but the topic is just too important that I’d rather lose what little traffic I’ve got than bear the thought of a relationship failing due to lack of information.)

Going back to the topic of “burning letters,” I learned that getting rid of old photographs, letters, and trinkets from these unhealthy relationships is part of breaking the soul ties. Since I don’t have words to write about what I did–and it rarely happens–I’ll just show you instead. I must say it was a liberating experience.

"Burn all the letters..."

" breathe into life, into your story"

"Send them on to a safer home..."

"...burn it into secrecy..."

"Burn all the letters..."

"They are, they are... Brand them in..."

"...before you go."


4 thoughts on “Let’s Burn Those Letters

  1. grich says:

    on our first day of “married life”, my husband suggested that we get rid of our old letters/pictures/gifts from exes. we sorted out our “personal boxes of memories” in front of each other and got rid of everything which reminded us of our old relationships. i can still remember how hard it was for me. i realized i was too much of a sentimental person, and even if i no longer had any feelings for those “exes”, i held on to the old feelings of what those letters/pics/gifts evoked inside me.

    but yes, it was quite liberating. i know that my hubby doesn’t have any idea that i still have writings about my past relationships. but i see those writings as part of who i am now, and sadly, i would refuse to let go of all of them.

  2. I’m feelin’ you, TS! I think it’s lovely that you and S got to do that. I can picture in my mind how the two of you might have looked like: sitting on rumpled sheets, rummaging through mountains of letters and photographs (and you trying to sneak a note or two under the bed LOL). Seriously, I understand where the refusal is coming from. I may just be justifying here, but I think that it depends on what you feel every time you read those writings that matters. If you think it’s more “you” (how it helped you grow into the better person that you are now) than the past relationship, then I think you don’t have to get rid of it.

    Writing is always personal. I guess this is why bad book reviews hurt a little (Remember the opening scene from Under the Tuscan Sun?). This is off-topic but since writing is borne out of the way we think and see things, any attack on our writing–our thoughts–can easily make us feel under personal attack. Anyways, your writing is only part of who you are. It’s not everything that makes Grich, well, Grich. If a part of you makes the rest of you a better person, then I’m all for it. 🙂 If not, then let’s take comfort in the fact that even though letting go has never been easy and painless, it always gets easier in time. 🙂

  3. Once I was over the “crying” stage, I burned everything that reminds me of the guy….clothes he gave, photos, letters, and I even pawned jewelry and never redeem it. That was my “method” of letting go….so I could move on and start anew. And how many times had I done that before I met my husband.
    I don’t wait for the new relationship to begin before burning them. Once I am about to get into a relationship, it means I’m a totally new person with a new perspective, and a new direction.

    • Well said, Bingkie. 🙂 I especially love this part –> “Once I am about to get into a relationship, it means I’m a totally new person with a new perspective, and a new direction.”

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