Write Yourself a Love Letter

Experiencing self-love

Issue #20

By Vivienne Arkell

You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection,” affirms an awesome quote attributed to Buddha. Oscar Wilde adds: “To love oneself is the beginning of a life-long romance.

This entire page could easily be filled with reasons why self-love is paramount. But what does that mean and how does one quantify the assets?

How do you even start writing down all the reasons why you are fabulous? And why is a thought journal on sensuality asking me to do this corny exercise? Cuz the buck stops and starts with you babe. It’s the first step to relaunching yourself into being a more feeling, sensual being.

If you have already started journaling – writing about your life, its ups and downs, quirky pleasant things and emotional, less pleasant things – you are already on a journey to self-awareness and self-love. If not, don’t worry about being eloquent, just start. Get a notebook and jot down some thoughts. The easiest first compliments are often about your physical features and the body. For example, I love my hair, I love my eyes, and I love my curves. Don’t worry about seeming self-centered. Your journal is for you alone.

What about your qualities and personality? ‘I have a great smile and it makes everyone around me smile. My cooking is the best in the neighborhood and my xyz is unbeatable.’ Move onto some sexy attributes. ‘My lover says I am the best kisser on earth. He says my sweet cupcake is delectable.’ Seem selfish? Alexandra Katehakis and Tom Bliss, authors of Mirror of Intimacy emphasizes that:

Our capacity for self- love filters our experiences of the world.

When you are not experiencing love, or at least self-love, it’s difficult to express love or warm feelings and emotions. Being able to expose yourself and exude love and warmth is much like how upbeat people can spread contagious laughter and happiness. So get out that notebook and start the love letter to yourself!

Be appreciative of yourself and write down all the seemingly ordinary yet special traits, assets and characteristics that we noted above. Next, move onto small gestures where you already exhibit sensual and spiritual values. Make note of mannerisms, with appreciation and attention to details. Elaborate on examples of living life to the fullest. Remind yourself how nice you are to the people on the street, how you compliment your co-workers, bring cookies to events or remember birthdays with cards. Give yourself kudos for all the things you do well.

And finally, onto the most personal of self-love observations: looking inside the self and confronting any shortcomings. Are you upset about your age or weight? Do you hold jealousy or judge yourself and others unfairly? Do you avoid personal pleasure with excuses that you are too busy? For each of these admissions, finish the thought with however… Cut yourself some slack, because:

Paradoxically, we develop self-love by loving ourselves by not being able to love ourselves!  If failure dispirits us, the remedy isn’t success. Its developing self-love.

Here, Katehakis and Bliss are saying how unconditional forgiveness of our own imperfections and humanness allows us to acknowledge and grow self-love. In accepting any negatives, we turn them into positives, enabling us to bond with others in moments of strength and weakness. Self-love is the foundation of happiness. We need to practice self-love so we can understand and share our love with others. 

Developing the self is an ongoing practice, a journey rather than a destination. Making a habit of journaling to write down your thoughts, even just weekly, will give you the power of gratitude. Loving your life and yourself for what you are, while still growing and giving, will make your essence contagious to those around you.

This love letter is an affirmation for your own benefit. Love all of yourself: mind, body, and soul. The more we exhibit self-love, the more we are able to truly love ourselves and others. Shape your own reality through self-expression and self-love. If you’re not glowing, you can’t shine and share the love.


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