303 – October 30
“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.”—George Bernard Shaw
I attended a weekend women’s retreat years ago, and seminar leader Suzy Prudden gave us the assignment to write a love letter to ourselves. We were to do this during our afternoon break. “It should begin, ‘My darling, my dearest one,’” she said, “and praise all of your best qualities.” Everyone tittered a bit; it was uncomfortable. I saw that no one had much experience with self-praise.
I went to my room to relax, meditate, and think about all I had experienced so far at this retreat. I had some resistance to writing the love letter to myself, but finally picked up pen and paper and started. “My darling, my dearest one,” I wrote…and started to cry. I cried the entire time I wrote the letter. Finally, it was done and almost time to reconvene with the others. I washed my face with cool water and tried to repair the damage to my makeup.
As I walked into the conference room, I noticed a lot of women’s eyes were red. We sat in a circle and Suzy said, “Now we’re going to share our letters.” Oh, dear, I thought, how embarrassing. The first woman who read her letter made it to about the middle of the second sentence before she started to cry. She was not alone, for we were all crying with her. We all cried for the entire time we shared our letters. Love swelled in the room and as we cried, we bonded. It was a tremendously moving experience. Not embarrassing at all.
Oh, how I cry for us all, we imperfect, perfectly beautiful beings who try so hard to be what’s true, do what’s best, and measure up to the impossible standards we set for ourselves. We constantly strive to fix what’s broken, add what’s missing, fill the unfulfilled longing. There’s always room for improvement, never be satisfied, never give up. Have we tried hard enough, given enough, loved enough? How much is enough? At what level of attainment do we get to acknowledge and praise what we have accomplished instead of bemoan what yet remains to be done?
Write your love letter to yourself and keep it close by. Take time to praise yourself, acknowledge yourself for a good job well done this day, this life. Celebrate your wins, cheer for your own accomplishments, nurture your creative soul. Be at peace, you did enough. You are enough.
“I love and honor myself for all that I am and all that I do.”
Does it feel funny to say something nice about yourself? Are you more familiar (and comfortable) with focusing on your faults?
It’s so important to stop that inner voice that says you aren’t good enough, you made a stupid mistake, you wish you had done something differently, etc. etc. Let’s nurture that sweet voice that says, “You are awesome! You are wonderful! You help people and make them happy. You do good work in the world. You deserve to be abundant in all things!” And so it is.
Enjoy a wonderful day today, dolphins! You deserve it!