How many love letters do you think you have written to other people in your lifetime? I’m not just talking about love letters to a perspective or current flame…but also to your mom, dad, friends, siblings, children, bosses, teachers, coaches, grandparents, etc. A love letter is a letter in which you are writing an expression of your gratitude and affection towards another person.
So, with all the birthdays, graduations, weddings, anniversaries, etc…how many love letters do you think you have written to people who are important in your life? I would bet that it is in the hundreds. I bet it is more than you can remember or dream of. “Writing” a letter, can also include putting loving and grateful words on greeting cards, sticky notes, text messages, and emails. The list is growing, isn’t it?!?
Now, I want you to think of how many love letters you have written to yourself. Yes, you read it correctly…to yourself! This will also include all of the avenues stated above. Have you ever written a long love letter to yourself, telling you how fabulous you are? Have you ever written a sticky note and stuck it to your bathroom mirror telling yourself you are beautiful? Have you ever sent yourself a text message telling yourself to have a great day? Have you ever written an email to yourself saying how grateful you are for you? Have you ever sent yourself a greeting card for your birthday? I bet the majority of you can answer with a candid “No”. That is probably a really honest answer, and it is also ok. Most people do not think about writing a love letter to themselves. We are taught to express self-love in other ways…so writing a love letter to you may feel absurd or foreign or even quite awkward.
You may think I am crazy for even suggestion that you write a love letter to yourself. I can hear the chuckles and the scoffs even as I write this. But, really, what a wonderful thing you can do to honor yourself! It goes right along the same lines of speaking nicely to you, and also to think nice thoughts about you. If you listen to your self-talk and to your thoughts, you will agree that you are really tough on yourself and the words you use aren’t always the words you would say to a friend or to someone you love. We need to respect, honor, and love ourselves! I think a lot of us were taught that speaking and thinking highly about ourselves was conceited, and we were encouraged to not do it. But, on the other end of that spectrum, speaking and thinking negatively and hurtfully about us is extremely damaging. Which feels better to you?
Writing a love letter to yourself will help you with self-criticism and negative self-talk. We all talk to ourselves in a not-so-loving way from time to time, but it is not really a very healthy thing to do. By focusing on the attributes you love about yourself, those positive things will become more prominent, they will gravitate to the forefront of your mind. And when you love yourself, you naturally love others with less effort and with less judgment.
Yes, you can also say positive affirmations about yourself, which is a very powerful exercise and habit to get into…but there is something extremely powerful in the whole writing process. Writing involves your brain, your hands, your eyes and your focus. As you write, emotions tend to surface. The more senses and emotions you can involve in your writing, the truer it becomes to you.
Loving yourself is the first step.
If you do not truly love yourself, you cannot really love another.
Writing little love notes are a great way to do this.
Take Action: This week and moving forward, let’s take time to love and honor ourselves by writing love notes to us! Let’s think about all the things we love about ourselves and all the wonders about us for which we are grateful…and recognize those things through our written word.
Because Together is Better,