Happy Valentine’s Day, dear one.
I’m wondering if you have seen this question popping up regularly on Facebook ~ “If I asked you to list all the things you love in order of priority what number would YOU be on that list?” Reading those words shook me up a little because I realised I would not have included myself anywhere on that list!
Looking back over my life I could not recall ever being encouraged to love myself. I was loved generously by others, thankfully. And I loved others. My life was never short on love. But no one ever mentioned that it was important – or even just okay ~ for me to love ME.
Prompted by that question I decided to write myself a love letter. At first it felt forced and awkward. I felt more than a little guilty for indulging myself in this way. I love writing but these words did not come easily. I kept pushing on, however, and as I did so I uncovered more and more things I loved and valued about myself.
And the end result? Honestly, it felt like I had given myself a warm comforting and encouraging hug! It felt as if I had made a new friend ~ myself! On the basis of that first experience, and other letters to myself that followed, I have a suggestion for you.
When you can manage a few moments of solitude take out a pen and paper and hand write yourself a love letter. Just write what comes ~ all the things you love and value, and find endearing, about yourself. Call attention to your little victories and ways you care for you and make the world a better place.
It will get easier over time. It may help to set the scene by lighting a candle and putting on music that always throws your heart wide open. When you have finished writing, fold your letter, pop it into an envelope and post it to yourself.
When it arrives in your letterbox steal away somewhere quiet and read it out loud to yourself. Enjoy the feeling! You may want to start of stack of love letters to yourself by tying a silk ribbon around that first one. Resist the urge to hide it away in a dark corner though. Self love is nothing to be ashamed of!
Instead, let your love letter love you by reading it to yourself at the start of every day.
Never allow yourself to forget that true love begins with YOU, my dearest♥
Warmest ~ Helen
PS: In the spirit of vulnerability here is a portion of a love letter I wrote myself that has helped me enormously during a recent period of loss and great sadness in my life.
“Dearest Helen ~ I think you’ve been such a heroine through the sad times that have been piling in on you lately. I love how you always remember that you’re important too, and do small things to care for you ~ like just picking a handful of daisies or listening to Mozart while you snuggle in bed through all these long dark summer nights.
I love how you make a happy little salad and eat it even when you’d rather eat nothing. I love how you hold your head high so the sunlight can dry up your tears. Keep going Helen. Keep doing all these little things for you. And never forget how much I love you.”