I Love You
Hey, beautiful people! When was the last time you said “I love you” to you? Yes, you! When was the last time you spoke to yourself like you were your best friend? Like “Hey, Debs, you’re doing great so far!” We treat our friends and family better at times than we do ourselves. Why is that?
We are so hard on ourselves. I beat myself up sometimes, and I can start doing it so quickly. Then I look at only what I did wrong. Sound familiar? Let’s stop! We are on this journey together.
When I Remembered to Say “I Love You” to Myself
During a sleepless night recently, I was going over in my head everything that was wrong, how I wasn’t making good decisions, and on and on. I call it the “2 a.m. wake-up call of ‘your life sucks!’” While going down this familiar road, it hit me—I didn’t do my normal routine that day. I didn’t sit in gratitude, meditate, enjoy my tea, or put on some meditation music, and I know I did not drink enough water!
The next time I woke up at two in the morning, again riddled with ridiculous fear, as if Godzilla was going to get me at any moment, I broke the pattern. I sat up, turned on my nightstand light, and wrote myself a love letter in my notebook.
It was the most beautiful thing ever! As I was writing, I began to cry. I wasn’t crying out of sadness but sheer joy that I had so much to say to myself that was positive!
I started out with this:
I love you! Yes, you! Believe it or not, you take care of yourself, and you are concerned for others. Especially your kids. You would do anything for your kids, and you constantly support them and learn from them. I love your heart. Nothing stops you. You keep going even when things seem really hard and lonely. You are persistent and organized. You have a beautiful network of people that support and love you.
I am not going to include the whole letter here because I wrote several pages. I kept going until my hand could not write anymore. It felt so good to be praising myself for all the years, all the ups and downs, all the mistakes as well as the successes. I praised myself for failing and falling down. I praised louder for getting back up when a lot of people wrote me off and gave up.
The biggest takeaway I wrote was “I love that you are not perfect!” All these years, I strived to be the perfect little girl, woman, wife, and mom. Unfortunately, I have been a perfectionist my entire life. This habit has served me at times, but in many other instances it did not. I wanted so badly to get it all right. When you become that desperate for something, you forget to put yourself first. I forgot to love myself, to say “I love you!” to me.
Now It’s Your Turn to Say “I Love You”
Some people might think writing a letter to themselves is corny. But I was surprised at how little research there is on loving ourselves! When we don’t love ourselves, we seek external things to make us happy or find pleasure. I know because I have done this: drinking, shopping, gambling, overspending, sex, smoking—you all know the list of distractions. I am not putting these activities down, but some of us perfectionists can use outside activities to distract us from what is truly going on. And we do these things instead of self-loving!
Get out your journal or a pad of paper and write yourself a love letter. Do not leave anything out. Write every detail in this letter. Why do you love yourself so much? At the end say the three words we all long to hear: “I love you!”
After I wrote my letter, I slept like a baby. I had pleasant dreams. And I awoke to great stats on my Oura Ring, which tracks various sleep and health data while I’m wearing it. The only data that was red was the timing part of my sleep since I was up at two! (I highly recommend the Oura Ring, by the way. It has changed the way I view sleep and what to watch for in my nightly routine.)
There’s Power in “I Love You”
Saying “I love you” to our loved ones is powerful. Those three words become a safe haven, offering security and bliss. Isn’t it funny, then, that we do not take the time to give ourselves that power? These three little words bring so much pleasure to others, let’s give that pleasure to ourselves on a more frequent basis.
I saw how it helped me when I was having terrible insomnia and mentally going through all the worst scenarios. I thought my mind was messing with me, so I decided to try something new. In those situations, I could write about my fears or give myself love and self-care. Self-love was the answer that night.
I highly recommend writing yourself a love letter at least once a week. Praise yourself and your life, family, and friends too. It may sound like a gratitude list, and it is in a way. But the focus is on all the aspects you love about you. Say “I love you” to you!