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Supporting Ourselves and Others with Love Letters

amelia island, red flowerMy good friend and Curvy Yoga founder Anna Guest-Jelley recently told me that she reads a love letter before she starts writing. Every morning. It’s a love letter that she penned herself. Because, as anyone who writes knows, writing is a beautiful process, but it’s also vulnerable and intimidating. Very intimidating.

So it’s very easy to stop. It’s very easy not to show up in the first place. (Oh, there are dishes in the sink. Better wash those! The tub is filthy. Gotta clean that! My to-do list is overflowing. I’ll just work on all that stuff instead. )

Reading her love letter helps Anna to show up and keep going. To write one word and follow that up with another word and so on. And so on — until she builds the entire piece.

I love the idea of writing a love letter.

What are you struggling with? Where do you need a meaningful pep talk? Where can you use some support? Are you having a hard time feeling comfortable in your own skin? Are you worried about a current project? Do you have too much on your plate? Are you struggling with a health issue? Are you grieving someone or something? Do the days just feel a bit harder this season?

Write yourself a love letter, a letter of encouragement. Write the words you need to hear. Write the words you need to read. Write the words you’d write to your best friend if they were struggling with the same thing.

Speaking of which, write someone else a love letter. Maybe your loved one is struggling with a tough situation. Maybe they’re struggling with a stubborn depression or an avalanche of anxiety. Maybe they’re at a crossroads. Maybe they made a mistake or a bad decision. Maybe they feel lost.

Write them a letter of encouragement, support, kinship, compassion. Maybe you’ve been there, too. Maybe you understand what they’re going through. Maybe you don’t understand but are happy to talk to them so you can try. Write that. Maybe you’d like to offer to take a task off their to-do list. Write that. Maybe you don’t mind taking them to their doctor or therapy appointment. Write that, too.

Mail your letter. Or drop it off in person.

I have an entire folder in Evernote devoted to reminders I need — quotes, blog posts, essays — which I reread when I need them most. When I need to know that I’m not alone. When I need to know that I can and will feel better.

You can do the same — have a dedicated space to collect supportive things. And you can pen all sorts of love letters to yourself and to others, to read when you and they need it most. Because words are powerful. They change perspectives, minds, moods and hearts.

Words really are incredible. And we can extend this incredible kindness to others and ourselves. At any time.

P.S., Thank you to everyone from the bottom of my heart for leaving the kindest comments about my blog! Instead of buying one book for one reader, I decided to pick two people. 🙂 I soo appreciate you guys reading Weightless. The winners are Julieeyes and Campbell. I’ll be emailing you both shortly for your address. And I’ll definitely be hosting more giveaways in the future, so be sure to comment when I do.

Supporting Ourselves and Others with Love Letters


Margarita Tartakovsky, MS

Margarita is an associate editor at PsychCentral.com. She writes about everything from taking compassionate care of yourself at any weight, shape, and size, to coping healthfully with difficult emotions. Her goal is to give readers practical, empowering tips to better their lives, and to remind you that whatever you're struggling with, you're never, ever alone.


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APA Reference
Tartakovsky, M. (2016). Supporting Ourselves and Others with Love Letters. Psych Central. Retrieved on June 26, 2019, from https://blogs.psychcentral.com/weightless/2015/11/supporting-ourselves-and-others-with-love-letters/

 

Last updated: 24 Jan 2016
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