The Most Important Love Letters You've Never Written
By mid-January, there are sparkling red hearts everywhere we turn, enjoining us to declare our love to our nearest and dearest. Pillows and cards, banner and cups. Love is everywhere. Doesn't it make you want to pen love letters? I try to say "I love you," to my family every day. In the morning when I greet my daughter, I say, “Good morning, my love, how did you sleep?” I tell her I love her so many times each day that she just nods in response. Because yes, she knows. Likewise, I kiss my man and tell him I love him every time we part, whether we will be separated for a few minutes or several hours.Even if you state your love generously to your family, what else are overlooking that also needs love? What could you create if you turned some loving energy on new parts of your life? What if, instead of writing a love letter to your lover, you wrote one to yourself? What would you say? What if you expressed your love for something less tangible, like money, or pain?Here are six ideas for love letters you've probably never written, but definitely should.
Love letters to yourself
You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection. - Sharon Salzberg
It is so easy as mothers to turn all of our love, affection, and attention on others and forget to take care of ourselves. How many times have you ushered your child to the door bundled up and ready to go out on a cold day and then realize you have forgotten your own coat? I know that if I do not love and take care of my own self I know I will quickly run out of love and care to give to those who depend on me.What would you write to yourself if you turned your loving gaze inward? What do you most appreciate and value about yourself? What qualities are you most grateful to inhabit?A love letter to yourself can also be as simple as a quiet moment, a long, deep breath, and a recitation of the traditional lovingkindness meditation phrases:May I be loved. May I be safe.. May I be well. May I be at ease.
Love letters to your family
A love letter to your family could be to the family you envision being - whether or not you are there yet. It could be a letter to your family of origin, either in gratitude for loving you and teaching you how to raise your own family, or in forgiveness for falling short of what you needed.
Love letters to your money
I got this idea from the brilliant business coach Nona Jordan. She suggests the simple but powerful exercise of writing daily love letters to your money. Try it. Tell your money you are grateful to it, about what it allows you to do. Tell it how it surprises you, blesses you, challenges you.What is your relationship with money today? Is it loving? Playful? Cranky or hurt? How would you let your money know you love it and appreciate it?
Love letters to your body
My poor body. Always last on the list. Never quite enough time to exercise enough. All my meals interrupted by trying to entice a distractible child to eat, and rarely enough water or sun. And yet, my body carries me through each day, uncomplaining (well, maybe a little complaining). My body grew a whole new human! It recovered from cancer treatment! It is amazing, and I need to love it a whole lot more. This month my body’s love letter is going to be weekly yoga and more glasses of water. What can you do to show your body some love today?You can also take this idea and make it more literal. What if you wrote a letter to your legs? To your uterus? What about to your heart or your brain? I challenge you especially to try turning your loving energy on a part of your body that you would normally criticize or ignore.
Love letters to something that hurts
It feels counter-intuitive to offer love to something that is hurting you, but I have found so much healing in learning to turn toward hurt rather than clench away from it. In my yoga class, the instructor invites us each to set an intention for our practice each day. Today my intention was “love this hip that hurts.” Instead of feeling frustrated by poses that were painful because my back is tender, I leaned into stretches that loosened it up and modified the ones that were difficult until I could hold them with ease. After an hour, my hip hurt noticeably less. And my mood, without that nagging pain, was noticeably lighter.What is hurting in your life right now? Who is causing you pain? How can you offer that situation some love?Let's be inspired by those sparkling hearts and love-filled displays to widen where we cast the net of our love.Did you enjoy this post? Please consider sharing it using the buttons at the top of the page!