I wrote this letter one day recently when I was feeling very down but had managed to tap into a bit of self-compassion. I realized that, even if a part of me was hating myself right then, there was another deeper part of my being that had complete love and compassion for me. I so often write kind and loving letters to friends and family, letting them know how wonderful they are and how much they mean to me – why couldn’t I do that for myself? So, from the angle of seeing myself as a close personal friend, soulmate, and ally, who is feeling a bit lonely and sad, I wrote this:
I love you. I love you SO MUCH. Like, a crazy amount. Seriously, it’s ridiculous. I love you and all of your imperfections, which are what make you human and are part of being alive. I love you even when you are sad, when you pity yourself, when you get angry and snap at your friends and feel guilty afterwards. I love you when you feel fat, or ugly, or stupid, or awkward, or like you don’t belong, or like you never do anything right. I know those thoughts are simply the product of your ego being bruised and they will pass. I know sometimes you get a little lost and don’t feel like the best version of yourself, or can’t remember what it feels like to be blissed out and happy, but that’s ok. I will always be here waiting patiently for you to find your way back and then, I will continue to love you some more.
I know how hard you try to be good and how you want to love everyone and everything on Earth, but it’s ok if sometimes you don’t. Even when you are filled with angry or hateful thoughts, I know that you are still a good person with a good heart. In fact, you are a wonderful person – you mean things to people on a daily basis. You are loving and kind and thoughtful and you are worthy of belonging and of so much love. I know that, deep down, you know I’m right.
I know you are hard on yourself sometimes and I know how frustrated you get when you make mistakes, but if you continue pushing yourself to learn and grow from everything and everyone in your life, it will make you a better human being. I will always be here to support you through your struggles, when you are at your best and when you are at your worst, and I will remind you how amazing you are. I may not always be the loudest voice in your head, but if you quiet your mind and listen, I am always there.
Remember that you are not alone in this world and you always have the option to reach out and connect with others. Share your heart and your vulnerabilities with people who have earned it and let them love you, too. Have the courage to be yourself and to let your light shine through honestly and openly. You are at the same time completely unique and just like everyone else, and that is a beautiful thing, because it means you are not alone.
It’s ok to fall down, as long as you keep getting back up. When your heart gets broken, feel it deeply, but don’t let it define you. You are so much more than that. Even when you feel the need to run and hide and give up on everything, don’t shut yourself off from the people who love you and care about you. Life is too short and too precious to spend it feeling sorry for yourself. Embrace both your successes and your failures and surrender to the craziness of life. Take comfort in the knowledge that there are a few things you can control, and lots of things you can’t, so you may as well just enjoy the ride.
When you feel down, read this letter and remember how much I love you. There is nothing you could do to make me not love you. You are the only me I have and I am so grateful for you – let’s enjoy this one life we have together. I love watching you grow and seeing the person you are and who you will become. You are brave, beautiful, smart, thoughtful, strong, compassionate, courageous, kind, sexy, ambitious, creative, talented, funny, resilient, generous, and so much more. Thank you for being who you are.
Remember that you are enough, and that there is enough love in this world for you and everyone else. Remember that you have to take of yourself first if you want to take care of others. Please be kind to yourself and treat yourself well – you deserve it.
And don’t worry too much about what other people think – it’s what I think that really counts, and this letter is proof that I think you are pretty special.
Did I tell you yet how much I love you?
If this resonates with you, I highly recommend trying this exercise. If it feels weird to say such nice things to yourself, trust me, you are not alone. We all are so used to thinking hurtful things about ourselves, it can feel oddly egotistical to write a letter like this. But we all deserve to have lots of nice thoughts running in our mind throughout the day, every day, and we have the power to change our mean thoughts through regular practice. Writing a really kind and loving letter to yourself, the kind you would write to a close friend, can be a great place to start that practice and realize that somewhere inside of you is a compassionate soul who loves you deeply and unconditionally. Think about what you would love to hear someone say to you and say it to yourself. What are you hard on yourself about? Where could you be more compassionate with yourself?
And here is my offer to you – if you do decide to write a letter to yourself and you feel comfortable sharing it, send it to me along with your postal address and I will handwrite the same letter and send it back to you in the mail! This is really a win/win because I love writing letters and you will get a lovely, kind, handwritten piece of mail from yourself.
E-mail your self-love letters to me at: firstname.lastname@example.org (and/or feel free to post it below in the comments if you feel comfortable doing so! But if you want it sent to your address, maybe send that piece of info to me privately)
How much better would the world be if we could all start saying nice things to ourselves on a daily basis? It is so easy to show compassion to others and so hard to show it to ourselves, but all it takes is a little bit of practice every day. Write yourself a love letter and see how good it feels to be loved by YOU!!!