Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Self-Love September: An Important Assignment

Here's a special assignment for you.

Write yourself a love letter.

I'm totally serious and very sincere.

Have you ever written someone a beautiful testament to your affection for them? Ever emailed a friend just to tell them they're awesome? Penned something splendid in a Valentine's or birthday card? You need to be in a certain mindset to connect head to heart in that way. It's a space of openness, gratitude, tenderness and wild admiration for the person you're addressing.. When you put words to your love for someone, a very special thing happens - the love is confirmed, strengthened, celebrated.. It is felt all at once and in all its glory.

Now it's time to turn those feelings on yourself.

There are two ways to do this. You can brainstorm it first or you can go with the flow.

Brainstormers are the people who find themselves immediately stumped when they are faced with the task of writing themselves a love letter. They worry about what the heck to put in it! Their mind suddenly draws a blank, The act of brainstorming allows them to connect the right words to their strengths and abilities so that they can be sure of what they want to highlight in the letter. Brainstormers may lean more on the side of perfectionism or super organisation. They don't want to go off on tangents or find that the letter doesn't ring true once they've completed it.

Those who opt to go with the flow may find that their greatest authenticity comes in the moment. They may be curious to see what they actually think of once the writing process starts. They will also be eager to really feel the writing experience and will therefore want to simply engage with it immediately without following a plan. They may even choose to try automatic writing - an enforced writing period of five minutes or so during which they are not allowed to stop moving the pen! This means that there isn't much time to think and therefore less potential for falling into analysis paralysis.

Neither choice is wrong. Go with what feels intuitive for you.

Tell yourself what you really appreciate about your own strengths, perspectives and qualities. Remind yourself of nice things you've done for people, challenges you've overcome or times when you managed to be the light in your own life, even in pitch black darkness.

Write about how proud you are of yourself, how much potential you have to do awesome things, how perceptive/witty/intelligent/patient/creative/compassionate you are. You can feel free to be honest about the gritty bits. If you are currently struggling to love and appreciate yourself, write that in the letter. ('I struggle to appreciate you for the unique being that you are. I sometimes struggle to understand you. But I'm trying hard every day because I want you to thrive and have the best possible life!')You may also find that your letter contains an apology or two. It can be important to allow ourselves to say sorry for the BS we've put ourselves through.. Ask for your own forgiveness if you feel called to do that. You can also write about your commitment to refuse to abandon or hurt yourself again.

Here's mine:

'Dear Kelly-Ann,

You've come a hell of a long way since the dark days. I've watched you change from an angry, insecure little girl (shrouded in her own misery) to a wild-hearted creatrix (with so much love and joy inside of her). I want you to know that I don't choose to focus on the many times you fell down but now only on the times you picked yourself back up in spite of everything. It is those memories I choose to hold close to me. You have inspired me with your determined desire to heal and grow. You continue to dazzle me with your vision and lust for life. Don't ever tell yourself that your dreams don't matter or that there is some sense in crawling back into the dark.. Keep shining like an unapologetic supernova! I believe in you and no matter who comes and goes in this life, I will always defend you, stand by you and support you.

All my love, always and without limitation.. x'

Now it's your turn..

For extra credit: Put your love letter in an envelope and schedule an opening date of 2nd September 2015. No matter where you are in your life a year from today, you will have the perfect gift: a reminder of the incredible importance of your relationship with yourself and of just how wonderful you are.