For most of us, loving others is much easier than loving ourselves. The month of February is a month that symbolizes love, and we know you probably already have plans to let loved ones know you care. You have your stationary picked out and have helped your little ones write Valentines to pass out to their classmates.
But we wanted to make sure YOU aren’t forgotten. At the end of January, we challenged you to write a “self-love” letter full of affirmations and positive messages to yourself. We hope you are receiving these messages from those around you, but even then, it’s sometimes hard for us to see the good within ourselves. Writing a letter of love forces us to focus on our strengths and the uniqueness we offer to this world.
We compiled a few “self-love” letter submissions we received that we hope encourages YOU to participate and give yourself the love you deserve!
If you didn’t get your submission into us in time, please post on social media with the hashtag #tdploveyourself so we can keep reading and spreading the love!
I love the way you give. You give your time, your energy, your willpower, your whole self in so many ways. You don’t do things halfheartedly. People tell you to not take things so personally, but that goes against who you are – someone who invests yourself in your activities, your relationships, your daily interactions with people, and your work (volunteer or not). You hold these dear things close to your heart. You pour out your all, unabashedly. And this passion is contagious.
That being said, in doing all the things that occupy space in your agenda, your day, and your heart, you fail to give yourself the ‘thank you’ notes you so often pen to others. It’s time to change that and acknowledge the good you do.
Thank you for volunteering and spending time with the young people in the church. While you get to instruct and guide them, they also teach you.
Thank you for being a positive influence at work, and putting a smile on others’ faces even on your worst days.
Thank you for constantly seeking more knowledge about this world — God’s wonderful creation.
Thank you for hearing others’ opinions, and truly considering them. You listen to understand new perspectives, instead of just waiting to respond and impose your own views. This is vital in today’s instant gratification world where it’s easy to lose yourself in (and to) the argument.
I know that it’s hard to see where progress is made in the pursuit of perfection. Nothing seems to measure up. Please remember that perfection is never achieved, but excellence results from the chase. Don’t be dissatisfied with excellence because it isn’t perfection, but don’t rest on your laurels or settle for “good enough,” either.
You are diligent, intuitive, sensitive, and a visionary.
While these things are true, know that worth is not defined by works or personality. Worth is found in your identity as royalty – a queen – in God’s kingdom. You are a child of God. He loves you beyond measure. Embrace this love.
Be encouraged, Soul. Be refreshed, Spirit. Be loved, Self.
[ Heather is a ukulele-playing bookworm who loves to spend time with friends over heartwarming tea. She is an INFJ whose closest companion is probably her dog, Seamus. Heather enjoys all kinds of political, philosophical, and theological discussions and seeks to show the joy of Jesus and the gift of grace in every part of her life. Her blog joiningthehumanrace.wordpress.
com includes her thoughts as she journeys through her 20’s. ]
It’s easy to place value on the opinions of others — fueling attempts to fit in. People will tell you all the ways that you just don’t quite measure up, especially if you conquer the trials of the world differently than usual routes. The most common judgment thrown your direction is an overused question: “How are you single?”
This catechism often throws you into instant frustration. The way you hear it: “If you’re this pretty, what must be wrong with you to deter someone from loving you?” I’ve always struggled with this — a constant theme throughout the past several years. It’s driven feelings of insecurity that go much deeper than appearance. My core values, my enthusiasm, and my unique perspective on how to do life doesn’t measure up to the expectations placed on young women of our culture.
However, I’m writing this in an attempt to encourage you that it’s okay to be different. I admire your drive, attacking tribulations as if they’re small, and always coming out on top. I admire your independence and ability to discover self worth past the shallow need to be wanted by a man. I admire the fact that you aren’t afraid to face what is beyond the boundaries of your comfort zone and constantly soaking up knowledge from conquering what scares you the most. I admire your ability to chase after what you want in life, despite all of the people that tell you how impossible it is. Above all, I admire your confidence as you travel the roads that are the most narrow.
Sometimes, tears have to fall, and that’s how you know you’re still broken. The seasonal people you’ve encountered along the way have stolen pieces of your heart and they’ll never be replaced. I know your heart has taken on a new form, one that embraces change and open to heartbreak if it means a chance to love on someone who needs it. I know you’re strength is beyond compare and it can be lonely. Even still, it is your calling. You are meant to embrace the person you’ve become, and you are meant to shower confetti on the people that surround you. Don’t lose sight of the beauty in the process.
You are beautiful, just like everyone is. You are strong, brave, patient, understanding, and honest. Know this and embrace who you are, because it’s definitely someone worthy of love.
[ By day, Rebekah is an assistant property manager at an upscale mid-rise in Dallas. By night, she’s a full-time student working towards her degree in accounting. By the time late night rolls around, she’s a poet who writes mainly for herself, but also contributes to two different online poetry blogs. On the days she takes a break from all that, she’s a traveler and adventure seeker, chasing after parts of the world that she’s yet to uncover and cultures she’s never been faced with before. ]
I’d ask you how you’ve been, but – ya know – I’m you, and I know we haven’t been doing very well, lately. Actually, scratch that, I know we haven’t been doing well for a while now.
I’m so sorry, because I know we’re not to blame and yet, I still do blame us every time, for everything. You may have noticed at this point: we’re so quick (way too quick) to forgive others, but we never, not once, forgive ourselves.
So, I’m writing to say: this stops now. I forgive you. You forgive you. Let’s forgive ourselves, and cut ourselves some slack.
You’re beautiful, and smart and funny, and I know you have a hard time believing it, but you’re not alone. You’re a good person, you have a kind heart and you love your life.
Yes, I know that life hasn’t loved you back very much lately, but that will change soon, you know it will change soon. Hold onto that hope, think back to when we thought we were going to fail and fall and see how far we’ve come. Look at you; look at us now! We’re about to graduate –- a Master’s degree, it’s our third, remember that! We’re about to move and start a brand new chapter of our life. Yes, I also know that scares you to death, it scares me to death, but I know that we’ll make it, and we’ll make it great.
You made some mistakes and some bad choices in the past, and I know you still regret them every day, but we will learn from them and grow stronger and better. We won’t make the same mistakes again, trust me, I promise.
So, please, forgive yourself. You had your reasons for those choices you made, and they seemed valid at the time. Remember what we used to say years ago? Trust your brain. Your brain is amazing, and it never betrays you. And even if you cannot see the reason behind those choices now, you do know, deep inside, that you had your reasons back then, because you never, never make decisions without thinking them through.
You forgive you. You didn’t let yourself down, remember that. You love yourself, you love yourself so much, remember that too. You’re so worth it.
[ Maggie is Italian, and her real name is Margherita — though nobody ever calls her that, unless she’s in deep, deep trouble. She’s an Economics major with the heart of a hopeless romantic, who loves John Mayer and always laughs at the silliest jokes. ]
Dear 43-year-old me,
You’re soon to be 44, and you are a mom of two beautiful children with a wonderful fiancé. Sometimes you’re the worst judge of yourself–expecting standards higher than you’d ever expect or even think possible of anyone else. When you don’t achieve some sky-high goal you’ve set for yourself you are beyond self-depricating. Yet, you hope for the best for everyone else and try to help them on the journey to achieving their dreams.
So from now on, instead of thinking in a negative tone, you will dare to dream. And do your best efforts to make those dreams a reality, believing they are possible along the way. You will fill every moment with positivity and love –- even when it’s all going wrong! Perfection really doesn’t exist. Good enough is perfect (you’ve tried enough YouTube hair tutorials to know this)!
Dreams can become reality, and there’s no need to feel guilty for having them or feeling like you don’t deserve success! You do!
Your children adore you, and you live in a house full of love. Your extended family is close on both sides and there’s a whole lot of love and support.
Remember to show love to everyone and it will come back at you. Remember to love yourself.
Dream big and don’t be afraid.