Loving myself for who I am as a person seemed like such an abstract concept for such a long time, that it feels a little surreal to be sitting down ready to write about how I’m attempting to do just that.
Learning to love yourself can–at times–be a shitty experience. You have to be completely open to facing all of your feelings, yes, all of them (gasp*)!
*side note: I can’t believe I just wrote out a metaphorical gasp.
It can be pretty ugly and painful at times, but its part of the process and you’re not going to get very far without dealing with your baggage. Sorry to say it but no more turning to addictions to numb your feelings, no more distractions, no more making your problems someone else’s, it’s time to get real and start opening all those little boxes tucked away in your head and facing what’s inside.
Doesn’t sound like such a great idea anymore does it?
Luckily for us, along with dealing with the ‘worst’ parts of ourselves we get to look at the best. We are learning to love ourselves after all.
One of the ways I like to do this is by writing myself little love letters; sounds a bit weird but bare with me here. Pretty much everyone knows about sending love letters to others, you might have even received one yourself, but have you ever thought about sitting down and writing one from you–to you? How often do we actually focus on the good in ourselves instead of the bad, not often right? When you’re learning to love yourself, finding and focusing on the good within us instead of what we perceive as the bad is a huge step.
Now onto the actual love letter concept…You don’t actually have to write down your letters if you don’t want to; you can just take a few minutes to go over everything you like and maybe even love about yourself in your head. Everyone has an inner monologue so why not use it to project good thoughts and feelings instead of negative ones? Use the notes on your phone, go pick out a new notebook to hold your letters, make a voice note or even a video if you really want to go all out. Whatever you choose, it’s the content of your letter that actually matters, not where it’s recorded.
So you get an idea of what I’m talking about I thought I’d add in one of my own letters, so here it goes…
You have the innate ability to see past your learned distrust to see the good in others, and that’s pretty bloody brilliant. Your caring holds no bounds. Some people may call you anti-social and might even say that you hate people; and that may be partially true but you know that they–and even you get this impression because despite your confidence you’re an introvert at heart, who cares about the world as a whole rather than focusing your care on a few individuals.
You are loyal to those who have earned your loyalty. However, you never let that loyalty cloud your judgement. If someone or something is wrong then you will not defend them out of loyalty; honesty and integrity are far too important to you for that. These values make you stand out and you should feel pride in yourself for them.
You have talent! You might spend a lot of time hating for yourself for not employing it often enough, throwing around accusations of laziness and feelings of shame; but you know deep down that having talent doesn’t mean you need to show it off constantly and perhaps that makes you humble instead of lazy? Talking of laziness, don’t hate yourself every time you need to sit down instead of finishing the dishes or going into town. Remember that you have some quite debilitating illnesses, and not triggering a flare-up is far more important than having a clean house.
Your illnesses and circumstances have also afforded you another trait to be proud of; resilience. You NEVER stop. Nothing will hold you down, because no matter what life has thrown at you, you keep going. You’ve survived even when all you wanted to do was die, and that’s something to be SO proud of. Maybe even to love yourself for?
You bring other people happiness on your darkest days, because you know how it feels when it looks like happiness has deserted you and you would never wish that on someone else. So keep making people laugh–their joy brings you joy. Be as generous with your smiles as you are with everything else.
You have great eyes, don’t be afraid to admit it to yourself. It’s okay to like your physical features! Oh, and your bum isn’t too shabby either if Ryan’s admiration is anything to go by! 😉
You have knowledge, and even if others want to bring you down by calling you a know-it-all, never stop reaching for more. ALWAYS keep your thirst for knowledge alive and your nose in a book–it’s a good look for you. Your knowledge isn’t limited to academia either; you can knock out killer winged eyeliner in seconds, are always on hand with advice on hair colour or styling and you’re a damn fine cook!
All of these things are reasons why I love you, you just need help to remember them sometimes.
So that’s one of my letters from me to me. They can be hard to write at first, but once you get into the swing of things it gets easier, trust me! Something that helped me at first was writing bullet-points instead of letters and then slowly elaborating on them.
Are you going to give your own letter a go? What are some of the reasons you love you? Let me know in the comments below!