I think it goes without saying, there is no right or wrong way to do this. I know rules and restrictions can make us feel safe, like we won’t accidentally spin out to someplace unknown, but they also keep us confined. Feel free to practice some self liberation along with self love. Your letter can be 5, 500 or 5,000 words. It also doesn’t have to literally be a letter, more on that below.
You should feel free to get creative. While words on paper or in a document on screen will certainly be one of the easier methods of execution, it’s not the only one.
A love letter to yourself can have many formats. Don’t let yourself feel boxed in. If writing a more traditional letter doesn’t feel right to you, you could write an ode, or a haiku instead. You can get all Shakespere and write a sonnet? Maybe you make a rap, that would be cool. You could make a video or a photo collage, even an audio recording? What about inventing a recipe or an elixir?
The main thing is that it should be accessible enough that you feel inspired to take action and get to it. Don’t let it become a chore you need to tend to.
For some people, especially those who have some practice with self love, it will probably feel easy to jump in and get started. Same for people who journal or tend to have some kind of writing practice or talent of their own. In that case I invite you to do so and just see what happens, what unfolds.
If you aren’t used to appreciating yourself, it might feel a bit hard finding a good place to start, so I’ve provided some ideas or prompts to help you get started.
You can also visit here, to read love letters submitted by others to get some inspiration.
When I break down the love letters that I’ve written to myself, I noticed that they usually consist of a few key elements.
Feel free to follow or, just pick and choose the elements you like or want to include.
I often find it helpful to approach this with an intention of some kind. Personally, it makes it easier for me to focus, as I’m usually a ‘I have a 1000 ideas’ kind of person.
Possible places to start:
It’s your choice really, there is no wrong way to do this.
Arguably one of the most important parts. It’s rare that we address ourselves directly, which is why I think this part is so special. AND, since this is an exercise promoting freedom and self expression, you don’t necessarily have to write your given name.
Give some thought of who exactly you are addressing when you write this? How do you speak or how would you like to speak to yourself ? Is there a secret nickname you have? Is there something someone else calls you that feels more like you than your name? Is there a name you wish you had instead.
You can also just write something like: Dear you, Dear self, or Dear one. My dearest…. You can also start it off with To, Hey, ect.
This first line, after you’ve addressed it, sets the tone and the voice of the letter. Depending on the words you use and what you decide to start with.
Some common love letter vibes are as follows:
Some people would call this part the meat and potatoes of it, but I’m a vegetarian, so I’ll say this is the heart of it. What exists here will look different for everybody, but it’s essentially the appreciation part.
This is the intention for writing. It’s where you put your epic declaration of love and appreciation.
This section should be full of heartfelt words, and genuine expression. I encourage you to drop your guard. Say something amazing to yourself that you’d be way to shy or uncomfortable to say in front of someone else. Or say something that is so extra that it almost feels illegal because we’ve been taught to not be so loud when it comes to praising and appreciating ourselves.
Maybe it’s only one sentence or a mantra of some kind, but it could also be 5 pages that list in detail how freaking awesome you are. Start writing and see where it goes. Don’t hold back. There is no need to censor yourself.
If you feel like you need some further ideas for this section or topics to get you started, I’ve put some prompts together:
What is your favourite trait about yourself that people do or don’t know? Why do you like it? Describe it in loving detail.
(examples: your strong will, patience, eye for detail, ability to chill, ect)
Once you finish writing your letter, how will you sign it? It’s a small final detail, but it’s important, so be intentional.
The one who is writing the letter, is the one who sees you, and loves you so completely, that it’s important to give them dignity.
Sign your letter with love and gusto.
Just start. Don’t obsess too much. You can reread it after and edit it if need be. Correct grammar and spelling is far less important than genuine expression.
The only thing that is important is tapping into the space from where the words want to flow, and getting out of their way so they can express their fullness, their truth. It might not look pretty or refined, but it will be purely authentic, and that’s what you should aim for.
We are censored enough in our lives. Encouraged to adapt some kind of socially acceptable veneer, but not here, and not now.
Give yourself the permission to be messy, to be raw and truthful. Give yourself the permission to be passionate, indulgent, and extra if you’d like to.
Be as loving and appreciative as possible. Be understanding and give yourself the grace to be imperfectly perfect.
Spend 5 minutes on it, 5 hours or 5 days. Try to finish, but you also don’t have to. Take what you need, as long as you are intentional with a one pointed focus.
Words on paper or screen that appreciate or give thanks to our selves do no harm. Don’t be afraid to go looking for your voice. Allow yourself to create a safe space, so that voice hidden in your heart can bubble up and share it’s wisdom from beyond.
When you are finished, put it somewhere you will be able to easily find it again.
If it’s on paper, put it on your desk, in a drawer you open often, or tape it to your fridge. If it’s on your computer, bookmark it, or put it in a folder you can easily find.
Let these words, which are straight from your heart, be words to remind you of your own greatness, in case you sometimes forget.
This world is loud and listening to the voice in your heart is not always encouraged. The voices that speak our truth are often drowned out by complete and utter ignorance…from others and from ourselves.
Prioritize words of love and onessess. Words that remind you of who you are, and the intelligence that you have. Read these words again and again.
If you feel so inclined, I invite you to share your letter. You can keep it with or without your name. Maybe you have a code or a nickname?
To share something deep and personal, can feel terrifying, but it can also be a great liberation. When we open a fist that’s been clenched tightly, we are able to both give and receive.
To submit and share your letter, visit the submission page and fill in the form.
A quiet note on submission:
If you want to tell someone how much you love them, tell them directly. People love to be appreciated, even if they are sometimes bad at showing it. This love letter should be to yourself.