Everyone talks about loving yourself. But actually, truly loving yourself is a pretty big deal. And it takes practice. So today I am challenging you to write a love letter to yourself. Yes, you! The one who is reading this blog post, you!
To help, I’m sharing with you an exercise that we do in both of my quirkycourses: GetQuirky and Quirkytogether 101. This is part one. In a future post, I’ll share another practice that I have found that works to cultivate self-love.
Why? We live in a world where self-criticism is a way of life, constant background noise in our minds. We spend so much more time thinking about things to fix about ourselves. In a world filled with self-help, where does this endless quest to be better ever end?
We rarely stop to celebrate ourselves as the incredible creatures we are.
It’s an inside job.
We may think the salvation lies in finding just the right person to love us. We dream of a great romantic relationship, or when we are already in one, we dream of feeling totally accepted and adored. Of being seen and loved just for who we are.
If we dream of that but never give it to ourselves, it just won’t work. Every relationship unravels if we don’t truly stand for our own value. We just can’t expect that someone to do that for us.
Although people help us to see ourselves by loving and appreciating us, no one else can give us our value. It’s an impossible job for someone else to do that–because it’s an inside job.
Consider this: Every day, we are training other people about how to treat us. If we show up habitually putting ourselves down, we are training other people to devalue us. When we show up knowing our value, we train people to treat us as valuable too.
Try it once–you might like it.
Loving yourself through writing a love letter to yourself can have all kinds of fantastic spillover effects. I say this from experience. You can even write yourself love notes once every month or two! You might make this a regular practice. Your love notes to yourself will change over time.
Here are the instructions we use for my Quirkytogether 101 class. . . try this out. It’s relevant for you whether you are single and dating, partnered, polyamorous, or could care less about dating. I am also going to share excerpts of actual love letters below–one I wrote to myself, and the one my co-teacher Sue to wrote to herself.
Giving ourselves the love we dream of
In order to be truly quirkytogether, we need a strong quirkyalone foundation. We commit to love ourselves with a big heart. We make a commitment to love ourselves first and to stand for our own value. That’s what we are going to do today . . . by writing a love letter. To ourselves.
Today, we are going to cultivate that feeling of total love for ourselves. Because this is truly the foundation of attracting the right person and being in a great relationship.
Instructions for Writing a Love Letter to Yourself
Find a moment to sit down with some peace. Maybe with a cup of tea, or just some minutes by yourself, with a special notebook or computer.
Take out your notebook and write yourself a love letter. Write an ode to you and your quirks. This could sound daunting, but just keep it simple. Write a love letter to the essential you, the best you, the parts that you want to keep alive as your flame.
Why would someone feel so blessed to be in a quirkytogether relationship with you?
What about these quirks you are uncovering about yourself in this class? Look at the ones you have already shared and start to think of more.
What about your quirks that you sometimes wonder about–are they really lovable or likable? Give them lots of love too. Be sure to include at least one quirk that you may fear may not be lovable or likable.
Make your letter as long or as short as you want. You’re simply taking the quirks you have already noted, or new ones that come to mind, and wrapping a love letter around them and filling yourself up with this sensation of self-acceptance and love. That feeling of total acceptance from someone else. Now we are giving it to ourselves.
Here are two actual love letters. One that I wrote and one that my co-teacher Sue wrote.
Sasha you are a fox.
I love the way you are so intimate with yourself, the way you twirl your hair and touch yourself, the way you naturally pleasure yourself in your skin, in your body. You are someone who wants to enjoy life and suck the pleasure out of life like you suck the pleasure out of a mango or a maracuya, the passionfruit.
By the way, you are a passionfruit. You are a fruit of passion. You are a collection of seeds that are blossoming one by one, every year giving the world a new treasure with your ideas and your creativity. You deserve the absolute best, you know that. You deserve to be treated like a queen. You are a marvelous beautiful creature who only gets more radiant and gorgeous with age. You are filled with life and wisdom. You have so much sensual joy in your body and confidence too.
You empower others to enjoy their lives and their bodies. You inspire others to embrace their quirks. You are touching many lives with your creativity. You are delightful even in the mornings, even when you were feeling bad after a night of sleep—oh yeah you can be grumpy but that’s ok.
You can be messy sometimes and you really resist washing the dishes, but you know how to laugh about that and you learned from Brazilians to play music or sing while you wash the dishes and you’re getting there. You leave teabags in teacups all over the house and are totally absent-minded and drive your mother crazy with that. So what? That’s a quirk too.
You are nearly the mid-point of your life and you have done an incredible job so far. You pay attention to your health, you worry about health stuff but ultimate you know how to enjoy life and stop worrying and put pleasure first. You have really figured some stuff out and you are going to figure out even more stuff over the course of your lifetime. You are an awesome being!
Oh my gosh Sue, you are soooo amazing. I love how unique you are, how quirky you are and how you brighten up people’s day with your smile. I love all the crazy things you do like….sleep with a teddy bear and need to only wear clothes that feel good on your skin…or none at all! I love how natural you are and your ability to know that your beauty comes from inside out. I love how you listen to people and can see a big vision for them and can think outside the box and wear rose colored sunglasses in the world. I love how you wear funky rain boots and bright winter hats and at the same time wear black all the time because you know you can’t get it dirty.
You are an amazing aunt, sister, daughter, lover, friend, coach and massage therapist. You have a gift of connecting with energy and trusting in the universe. You have been through a lot and have done so much to grow and learn about yourself, how to communicate and love yourself and others. You have had many ups and downs and around the corners with relationships and still have managed to keep your head up.
You are strong and flexible, inside and out. I love how you dance and sing….even if others laugh! I love how you have so many ideas, you’re this constant stream of business ideas and try to multitask and try and fit so much in a day and get the house so messy because you’re busy doing so much, and still you can do nothing and relax and hang out and play. I love how you’ve designed your life to only work about 10-15 hrs a week and you have life as a priority and not working to live. You are wicked awesome and I am so excited for what’s in store for you!! I LOVE YOU!
Share yours as a comment here. Inspire us.