Surfacing After Silence

Life. After.

Self Love Letter Challenge (from ViR)

my current journal

I’ve kept a journal since I was five, and I have every single one (except one, which I have no idea where it is) in a giant rubbermaid container.  I think my current journal is Number 28 in the chronological sequence.  I also have several topical journals that were kept for creative writing classes or english classes.  Those are in a separate box.  I’m almost done with my current journal, and I’m at that point where I’m tempted to just leave the last few pages blank so I can start a fresh one and start decorating that one.

I doubt I am alone in the content of my journals.  Very very rarely do I have an entry celebrating something I did or, heaven forbid, simply celebrating my existence.  Nope.  My journals are filled with bitching and moaning and questioning life and trying to solve existential dilemmas.

The purple card lying on top of my journal is my “Mantra for Living” that my therapist had me write.  It acknowledges the terrifying aspects of life and then goes on to remind myself that I must dwell on the things that make life worth living and lists those things.  At the bottom of the card is the line *I have a worthwhile life and a life I can be proud of.*

And then on Facebook, I came across a Voice in Recovery’s suggestion/plan: dedicating the month of April to stopping self-hate. And she gives us a very concrete exercise, which I linked to on my Facebook page: Writing a Self Love Letter.  That’s right–a letter proclaiming self-love.  What better way to start loving yourself?  Sure, you might tell me that there is nothing about you to love.  My response: MAKE SOMETHING UP.  A) There IS something there to love.  B) If you can’t see it, write something down that you want to love about yourself.  C) Ask your friends for suggestions.  D) Read that letter every single day.  Twice a day.  Read it until you believe what you wrote.  The more you read it, the more you will believe it.

When I wrote my “Mantra for Living” I didn’t believe all the reasons I wrote down that made life worth living.  In fact, I laughed at some of them.  But reading that card every day, whenever I open my journal, those reasons are starting to sink in.  I’m starting to believe them.  They’re becoming part of me, part of my psyche.

The same thing can happen with the self-love letter.  You may feel like all you’ve got is self-hate, but how are you going to learn self-love unless  you practice it?  Unless you try letting a glimmer of that love in?  So I triple-dog-dare you to write this self-love letter.  ViR is asking for people to share their letters.  But if that scares you, if that prevents you from writing certain things down, don’t worry about the sharing part–just write the letter as if no one else in the world will ever read it.  Just you.  You could write “I’m good at standing on one foot on my toes” if you want.  No one ever has to know.  But if it’s something you’re proud of, if it’s something you love, write it down. Write it down and keep it in a place where you will read it every single day.

I quadruple-dog-dare you.

And yes, for those who are wondering, I am taking my own dare.  I’ve already started my letter.  No, it’s not easy.  But let me tell you this:  it’s a hell of a lot easier than carrying around a load of self-hate.


April 1, 2011 - Posted by | Body Image, depression, Eating Disorders, identity, recovery | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


  1. Hello,
    I think I am going to try one of these letters, and start everyday off by reading it. I am going to have to ask my friends for help, but eh it is better than nothing 🙂
    I also would really like to make one of those Mantra for Living things. What kind of things go into this? Could you give me some examples or more information, thanks 🙂

    Comment by Katherine | April 1, 2011 | Reply

    • You’re not the only one who asked about the mantra for living, so I wrote an entry about it.

      Comment by surfacingaftersilence | April 1, 2011 | Reply

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