Once upon a time, when I had a real online journal, I used to invite my readers to do something each year, something I haven’t shared in this pseudo-journal. With my commitment to be more committed to sharing my heart here, I am resurrecting this lovely, and love-filled, exercise. I hope you all will join me and enjoy yourselves as you do so.
This year, in honor of Valentine’s Day,
write yourself a love letter.
This journaling exercise is deeply rooted in a belief I hold that we make ourselves miserable looking for someone out there, some other person, to love us as much as we love them. This is a hopeless exercise in futility, seeking someone who will love you the way that you love them. Even if you could find someone who absolutely loves you as much as you love them today, tomorrow that same person may be distracted, stressed about a situation at work, fighting off a virus or the flu, and not feel very loving towards you. Or tomorrow maybe you will be the one struggling to hold yourself together, receiving some distressing news about a family member or simply angry about how your neighbor interrupted your sleep by being noisy.
There is only one person in the entire universe who will ever love you precisely the way you want to be loved and that is YOU. You alone can love yourself in same way, can intuitively know when you need to be hugged or need to be left alone. You and you alone can be the greatest lover you ever had because only you will ever say the right thing at the right time each and every time.
So sometime today or tomorrow or even on Valentine’s Day, sit down with a pen and paper and write yourself a love letter. Be lavish and wild with your praise, if that is what you want. Be poetic and flowery if such prose melts your heart. Or be pragmatic and list the things you love about yourself, being both thorough and generous as you go item-for-item. Imagine the letter you would most love to read and then write it for yourself.
When you’re finished, if you are so inclined, write a love letter to someone you love. If you aren’t in a relationship, write a letter to a family member or a friend or even someone you’ve never met, an author whose words leave you feeling lovely, a singer whose voice touches your heart, or whomever. Although you may want to be more reserved when singing the praises of a stranger, you can still express a loving appreciation for their gift and let them know that they mean something to you.
The most perfect love letter you'll ever receive is in your heart; it only waits for your hand to set pen to paper and being moving. Write your perfect love letter to yourself and allow love to fill and inspire you further.
PS: Handwritten notes are always more appreciated than lengthy typed ones. Use lovely paper. Even scent it with your favorite perfume. Yes, I mean the love letter you will write to yourself and no other. You, after all, deserve the best.
PPS: Give yourself an extra special hug. Tuck your letter in an envelope and hide it in a book or mail it to yourself.