I found this on Psych Central in a column called Weightless. I read this and it actually gave me the idea that I should be doing this too. I much too often let the bad take over and then forget how much good there really is. I think a lot of my moods going up and down could also be served positively by this as well. The more we tell ourselves the good things about us, or reaffirm those good things, the more we will actually believe them. Maybe there is one person in your life that continually spews out negativity. Instead of letting that negativity get you down, writing one of these could help put those negative comments into a realistic context and discover that this one person’s opinion does not overshadow all the other people in your life that have positive comments (or throwing them to the curb might help! I mean, who really needs someone in their life that is constantly negative toward you! I feel that is just self destruction at its finest, but, if the situation can’t be remedied and you are stuck with them, then maybe this will help). With each letter you write, it will get easier to document the positive. We all have to train our brains to stop gravitating toward the bad. But, as with all things, it takes practice.
Hell, its been about 5 years since I have been in the hospital and have had my intense therapy. I left there feeling scared, but still positive because everyone there had sent me off with positive things. Since then, I have continued on my journey and have had good times and bad, but I still find myself at times sinking back into the feeling of nothing but negativity and letting the negative words and comments eat away at me and trying to make me self-destruct. No matter how “together” you think someone is, appearances can be decieving. So, every now and then, take the time to write one of these letters of self-love. It can really put things into perspective for you. If you are feeling super negative, then write it and go back a few days later (when you are not feeling so negative) and re-read it. Then take each negative statement that you state you are currently feeling and one by one and ask yourself if that statement is REALLY true and what prompted that. Ask yourself if it really seems like a reasonable statement. If you have trouble, ask a friend or someone close to you to maybe help you. They should be able to look at the statements objectively.
Sometimes we all need a little personal “check-in”. I know that I am going to start! The letter below talks about body image, but it doesn’t have to be about body image. It could apply to anything. We each have our own unique things that we feel inadequate or insecure about. In no way is this any kind of medical advice, because I am not a doctor!!!! But, as someone who is recovering from eating disorders and is bipolar, I speak about this because I think this would be a useful tool to ME and it could be useful to others.
I have also enclosed the link for the page that I found this article. I know I plan to try this. You can never love yourself too much!!!
Your whole life you’ve been hard on yourself and set sky-high expectations, whether it was academics or appearance.
You rarely felt good enough.
Sure, sometimes you were super confident or felt pretty or smart. But deep down in your core, for some reason, you didn’t feel worthy.
You let others walk all over you, even when they were supposedly your friends or significant others. It was excruciating for you to stand up to someone else.
You yearned to be everyone but you, compared yourself constantly to people you thought were better, prettier and more intelligent.
You didn’t feel like you had the permission to listen to your body, your head or your heart.
You were afraid to be yourself. In fact, you weren’t even sure who she was at times.
Instead, you searched for self-love in diets, thinness and validation from others. You thought losing weight would bring popularity, love and ultimately happiness.
But you’ve always had it in you.
In the midst of wanting to be in someone else’s better-looking, stronger, more exciting shoes, you were always and always will be worthy.
You are strong in many ways. While you stifle your emotions sometimes, you’re a courageous person, and you don’t give yourself enough credit for that. You push through your fears and anxieties to do things anyway.
You are a good listener, and you have a good heart. You are ever-evolving, and you’ve worked hard to get here.
While you beat yourself up here and there, you have accomplished a lot, even when you were going through gut-wrenching circumstances. You are doing work that you’re passionate about. Because of you. You got here. No one else did this for you.
A shy seven-year-old girl who didn’t know a single word of English, who went straight to second grade, without going to first in either country, has achieved a lot. Don’t forget that.
You made several big decisions in your life, and they’ve been incredible learning lessons. You’ve stumbled but you’ve also stood up.
You’re learning to treat yourself with the respect, dignity and loyalty that you deserve.
You’re learning amazing things all the time and applying them to your life. You’re nourishing yourself with fun physical activities and delicious foods. You’re focusing more on what you want. You’re listening to yourself. You’re becoming more independent and mature.
You are brave in your own way. And your quirks are beautiful. You are curious, smart, sarcastic and silly. (And you’ve got a great pair of legs! Hehe.)
Sometimes, you say the wrong thing. Or do the wrong thing. Sometimes, you might be too harsh, too nice or too sensitive.
Either way, you deserve respect, happiness and safety, as you always have. As you always will.
And I love you unconditionally, past mistakes, stumbles and all.
This post was inspired by Ashley’s letter at Nourishing the Soul and Kendra at Voice in Recovery, who created the self-love letter challenge. I hope you’ll also participate! Check out Kendra’s post for the details!
P.S., Please check out this must-read post from Golda at Body, Love, Wellness.
What will your letter say? How has your body image evolved throughout the years? What about your self-worth? How do you see yourself now?
If anyone else tries this, let me know how it works for you! I would like to know if it helps or not!!!!