write a love letter to yourself

white black and red person carrying heart illustration in brown envelope

Continuing from yesterday’s post, the next prompt in Five Minutes in the Morning is to write yourself a love letter.

Be honest – when was the last time you offered yourself the same kindness you would a treasured friend? I don’t know if it’s a Western thing or if it’s a 21st Century thing, but we are so rarely encouraged to praise ourselves or give ourselves love.

At first, this might seem like a strange, somewhat difficult prompt. Last year, I’d have probably thrown this book out the window, but there were two fortuitous events that aligned me perfectly with this prompt.

Firstly, the night before I read this prompt, I was thinking about that experiment where you can fall in love with someone by staring into their eyes for four minutes. Having no one else’s eyes to stare into but my own, I tried it. It was revelatory. Four minutes was not enough. Seeing the unending lifetimes my eyes have seen made me weep.

Give it a try. I promise it will change your life.

The second fortuitous event deals with the daily intentions I’ve been setting each day. Since at least September I’ve been setting the intention to be open to love, but it wasn’t until the last few weeks of 2020 that I made it a daily habit to draw in unconditional self-love. Doing so has made all the difference.

When you choose to offer yourself unconditional love, then that becomes your natural state. When unconditional love is your natural state, happiness cannot help but follow.

Am I saying I’ve been happy every day for the past several weeks?

Yes, that’s exactly what I’m saying.

That doesn’t mean there haven’t been trying moments or moments of sadness. It takes daily determination to offer yourself unconditional love, especially because you know exactly where all your ugly bits are. Unfortunately, those are what we tend to focus on, but it is possible to change our perception of them You can start to change your perception by offering yourself unconditional love. Writing yourself a love letter is an excellent way to jump-start this process. Below I’ve included what I wrote to myself in the five minutes it took to do this exercise.

If you struggle to write yourself a letter, imagine you’re writing to your best friend. Think about why they are your friend and which of their qualities you admire.

If writing yourself a love letter or gazing into your eyes feels too weird, try this. The next time you hear a love song imagine that you are the singer singing it to yourself. It can be a powerful experience. I’ve included a song below so you can try, too!

Dearest Ross,

I loved staring into your eyes last night. Even thinking about it now I want to weep. There is so much they have seen, so much you have been through, & the fact that you choose to offer yourself unconditional love each day is so inspiring. Your ability to love makes me love you.

And it’s not just your eyes – you’re a smart little cookie, as my grandma used to say. Your thirst for knowledge will never be quenched, but I enjoy being there with you as you sip from that cup. And it’s not just knowledge. It’s a Knowing that you want. You are determined to see things differently, & I know you will. Just by having that desire you are on the right track. Don’t forget that. Don’t forget the love you have inside you, because when you focus on it, it radiates out from your warm center.

I love you, my dear sweet prince.

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