If I were………………….
Writing letters that you are not going to send can be a really healing and connecting experience.
They can transmute experiences: “change in form, nature or substance” the dictionary says. I invite you to write a Sacred Letter to yourself asking the question, “If I were truly loving and accepting myself I would……….”
Perhaps you’d say no to the boss’s pressure to do another shift.
Perhaps you’d have a nice scented bath and an early night.
Perhaps you’d be kinder to yourself and say affirming, encouraging things to yourself, as a loving parent would to a child, instead of berating yourself for not being good enough or making a (human) mistake.
Listen to what your heart wants to say, what your body wants to tell you.
It may be that when you stop and check in with your body, you realise how tired you are, but you’ve been keeping yourself too busy to notice. Perhaps busyness was extolled in your family of origin and you got praise and recognition for it. Now it is so ingrained you know no other way of operating. Eventually the elastic will break if you over stretch, and when it does it’ll be messy and a long road to recovery. But remember, there are no mistakes, only learning opportunities.
Begin to write your letter by settling into a quiet comfortable position with boundaries around this time that you have set aside for you. Being undisturbed increases your availability to yourself without fear of interruption. This is a time for you to check-in with yourself.
To assist this process you can ask yourself 3 questions, waiting after each one and listening for the answers. The answers are already inside of you, everything you need is right there just waiting for an opportunity to be acknowledged and heard. Be patient, sometimes the answers need time and gentle coaxing to surface. Trust the process. Be kind to yourself.
- How am I doing emotionally right now?
- How am I doing physically right now?
- How am I doing spiritually right now?
Then ask yourself, “What you need?” after each one.
Right now, I am emotionally scattered. What do I need? To slow down and practice present moment awareness.
Right now, I am physically tired. What do I need? A walk in nature and listen to the birds.
Spiritually? I feel supported by my Higher Power. Need? As above.
Enquiring about these 3 areas can help us connect to ourselves, which we can easily forget to do in our busy lives. We are not machines. We need food and nurturing like every other living organism on the planet.
You may address these 3 areas in your letter to yourself.
Get a fresh piece of paper, lined or not, choose a pen or coloured felt-pen or pencil.
Commence writing yourself a letter, a love letter, with your name at the top. Use only loving language, free of judgement and criticism.
If I were truly to truly love you I’d listen to you more, to what you want, to what your body is trying to tell me. I’m sorry I over-ride you sometimes, a lot actually. Today I will take you for a walk in nature and replenish your soul. I will block out ½ day each week for self-care time.
I love you.
If I were to truly love you, I’d take those hobbies off the shelf and dust them off. I’d learn to play the piano, ride a bike, paint and get messy. I’m sorry I leave fun and creativity until last and then don’t have the time and energy for them. I will use my ½ day of self-care for creativity and child-like fun.”
Of course, loving and accepting yourself will look slightly different for everyone. When we take actions that are self-loving, we are showing ourselves that we love ourselves, not just giving lip-service to it. Afterall, actions speak louder than words.
If you were truly loving and accepting yourself, what would you be doing that you are not doing now? What would you do differently?
I would love to hear if you did this exercise and what it was like for you! Do tell!
(c) Karen Lighthouse 2023
Thanks for reading and take care until next time.
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Words by Karen Lighthouse.
I also offer –
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Email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org