photo by mayr on flickr
February: The shortest month of the year is filled with so much extra goodness, celebration of black history, different international fashion weeks, glorious and exotic carnivals filled with revelry and of course, St. Valentine’s Day.
Now, there are some people who act as though Valentine’s Day is the only time to express to someone that you care about them which I completely disagree with. Hello, there’s 364 other days and add one more because 2008’s a leap year.
Then, there are those who cynically look at couples who celebrate Valentine’s Day and sneer their faces at the stupidity of it all. Again, this is something else that I completely disagree with. The idea of sharing love with someone is a wonderful sentiment.
Finally, there are those who don’t have someone to celebrate with and tend to feel bad about their situation. For these folks, I would suggest that instead of feeling cynical or bad that you should embrace the fact that you can always love yourself. Now, before you start rolling your eyes and thinking this is quickly slipping into cheesy territory, please hear me out.
There was a time several years ago that I was stuck in an emotionally draining relationship, the type that tugs at your self-esteem leaving you to feel completely helpless and vulnerable. During this time, when I felt lost and unhappy I took the opportunity to do something that instantly reminded me of my self-worth and that I was a good person deserving of a proper relationship. I wrote myself a love letter.
We’ve all been to that place where we have been filled with these intense emotions about another person that we want to sing our joy from the rooftops. You know, where you walk around in a daze with a goofy grin because life seems so wonderful. Or you inexplicably, start skipping down the street. This is an incredible feeling and a sliver of what connects all of us as a part of the human experience. This feeling is what I wanted to express to myself.
All of us deserve to feel like kings and queens even when we do and don’t get that from our significant others. Yet, once in a relationship, many of us forget about ourselves and when things head south we try to figure out what we did wrong and why things didn’t work out the way that we had anticipated.
This letter brought me back to the fact that I didn’t have to be in a situation that was not healthy for me. That I didn’t have to settle when there was so much more to experience in life. If gave me, much needed perspective.
So, I suggest to us all, that even if you have someone and are completely happy and even if you don’t and are content that it doesn’t hurt to reinforce what an awesome person you are.
First: You can use any paper that you want, a lined page from a notebook, parchment paper, a blank sheet. If you feel the urge to tap away at a vintage typewriter or try your hand at some lovely calligraphy: go for it!
Next: Find a spot to sit somewhere and spend some time with your thoughts and feelings. This is your declaration of love to yourself. Don’t rush it. Take the time to make it you. Make it fun.
Then: Write about all the lovely things that make you happy. Do you like your smile? Put that in there. Acknowledge that you are amazing. Put in anything and everything that you like about yourself.
Make it gushy, make it sentimental, make it straightforward. Just make sure to remind yourself that you are wonderful regardless of any circumstance. All of us deserve to be treated with a certain amount of respect.
Quick note: You’ll probably feel awkward and quite self-conscious but trust me push past these feelings.
Also, you don’t have to wait for a special occasion like Valentine’s Day to write yourself a love letter, whenever you feel like you need a reminder of the goodness that is you, take the time to do it.
To this day, I’ll occasionally pull the letter out and it makes me smile to think about that girl who had the presence of mind to not let what one individual had to say or made her feel dictate how she felt about herself. I’m not saying that this is the answer to all problems but it definitely helped to get me back on track.
What would you put in your letter? Would you even write one?
♥ the alchemist
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