He cut out a chunk of paper in the form of a flower, coloured it, and wrote just a few short sweet words in black ink. Then he gave it to my roommate to placed on my pillow. The next day, a phenomenal, huge bouquet of Stargazer lilies arrived.
These flowers are long gone, however the note I’ll keep endlessly. Written 1 / 4 of a century ago, that is the primary “love letter” I’ve ever received from my husband. It’s tucked away in a small box together with other short notes he wrote on sticky notes and longer letters he wrote on engineering paper after we attended college.
I’m not super-sentimental and a thrower quite than a defender, but I do not think I’ve ever thrown a single thing Corey handwritten to me. There’s something about seeing the handwriting of the person you like, with their scribbled words, doodles, and ink smudges, that makes you’re feeling adored in a way that a social media message won’t ever achieve.
Corey and I rarely write notes to one another, and we actually don’t write long, handwritten love letters. But I am unable to help feeling that our relationship would profit if we did.
Learning to jot down letters
In fact, it exists Kent State Survey which is proof of this theory. In 2007, associate professor of human development and family studies, Steve Toepfer, sampled 219 “relatively joyful” undergraduate students. Each student was required to finish a battery of questionnaires about their well-being in the primary week of the study. Toepfer then divided the scholars right into a control group and an experimental group; each was required to return to the research lab 3 times over the subsequent three weeks. The control group simply accomplished the questionnaires weekly, while the experimental group wrote thank-you letters before completing the questionnaire.
The letters needed to matter; a fast thanks was not enough. When the study ended, Toepfer found that the more students wrote letters, the more their happiness and overall life satisfaction increased. He also found that his symptoms of depression decreased.
“What we took away from this study is that if you desire to improve your well-being through intentional actions, take quarter-hour 3 times in three weeks and write: [a] a thanks letter for somebody,” Toepfer said in an article by Emily Vincent on the Kent State website. “It’s a cumulative effect. If you write over time, you will feel happier, you will feel more satisfied, and when you’re affected by symptoms of depression, your symptoms will lessen.”
The world needs more love letters
Hannah Brencher discovered the art of letter writing after she excitedly moved to New York City, fresh out of faculty, to land her dream job. Instead of experiencing the success she had hoped for, she began battling depression. To ease a few of this depression, she began writing love letters to random people and dropping them around town. Then she jumped on social media and offered to jot down a handwritten letter to anyone who asked. In no time in any respect, her inbox was flooded with requests.
Brencher’s accidental letter-writing campaign has blossomed greater than she could have imagined and now runs a worldwide organization called “The world needs more love letterswhose important purpose is to attach people through letter writing.
In TED talkBencher describes being approached by a stranger who noticed her large mailbox and asked why she just didn’t use the web.
“Sir, I’m not a strategist or a specialist, I’m only a storyteller. So I could let you know a couple of woman whose husband just got back from Afghanistan, and he’s having a tough time unlocking that thing called conversation, so he throws love letters everywhere in the house to say, “Come back to me.” Find me when you’ll be able to. . . Or a person who decides to take his own life and uses Facebook as a option to say goodbye to family and friends. Well, tonight he sleeps safely with a pile of letters hidden under his pillow, written by strangers who’ve been around him.
Experiences like these make Bencher a firm believer that letter writing is an art form. She notes which you can’t achieve the intentionality of sitting down with a chunk of paper and a pen and excited about someone the entire time you are writing a letter, when we now have our browsers open, texts/photos and social media updates coming in that share our attention. “(Letter writing) is an art form that does not bow to Goliath ‘let’s go faster’,” she said.
Love letters in real life
I assume you aren’t getting a whole lot of love letters. I do know not. According 2021 CBS News Articlenobody really does. 37% of Americans surveyed for this text said it had been greater than five years since they wrote or received a private letter. More than a fifth of adults under 45 have never written a private letter. It seems society has moved beyond the era of letter writing.
But think in regards to the last time you found a handwritten envelope amongst bank card applications and campaign ads in your mailbox. Did you’re feeling warm knowing that somebody took the time to contact you? And on that rare occasion, whenever you’re sending a handwritten card to a friend or putting a love letter in your husband’s lunchbox, do you get slightly adrenaline rush as you imagine the person you like reading the words you have written?
It’s hard to decelerate long enough to share our love with someone on this fast-paced world, but possibly a notebook and a pen are exactly what we want to just do that. Maybe we should always consider adding letter writing to our routine.
Prolific creator Mary Potter Kenyon has incorporated letter writing into her routine for many years and has even written a book about it. Mary & Me: a long-lasting relationship through ink (co-authored by Mary Jedlicka Humston) details the decades-long friendship maintained through weekly letter writing.
When Mary remarried after greater than a decade of widowhood, she told her husband that his words could be the right birthday present for her. I told him, “The best gift you’ll be able to give me is your words written on paper.” I would like you to jot down how you’re feeling about me or what I mean to you. He thought it was a bit silly, but now he does,” she said.
Although it doesn’t come easily to him, he writes her notes for special occasions, and Mary cherishes all of them, keeping them in a distinguished place for her to read again. Something that texts and emails don’t allow.
The Bible as a love letter
The Bible is usually described as God’s love letter to us. The entirety of the divinely inspired text of Scripture is his way of reaching out to a sinful world with its story of sacrificial love for us. It is a book crammed with words that we will read time and again, knowing every time that the God of the universe cares deeply for us. A letter which is written broadly to all mankind, but which is alive and energetic (Hebrews 4:12 NIV) in a way that permits you to reach everyone in a person way.
There are many individual letters within the text of the Bible. Letters written to exhort, encourage, teach, and luxury. Laura Boyle from the Jane Austen Center even suggests that the earliest manifestation of the love letter stands out as the biblical Song of Songs.
If love letters have proven advantages, if we personally enjoy reading another person’s handwritten words to us, and if God uses his words on paper to succeed in the subsequent generation of his works, then perhaps we should always consider how we will add this ancient type of communication back into the our every day life.
Who are you able to write a letter to today?
Image credit: ©SWN