On October 14, 2015, my 24th birthday, I wrote a love letter to myself. I won’t lie. I felt weird doing it. Maybe due to the fact that I don’t say “I Love You” enough to myself.
If At All.
But I needed to write this letter to physically renew my relationship with Jessica Jones.
The Jessica Jones that gets used up like a burnt out phone that keeps going even though there’s an upgrade available.
The greatest expression you can show is love. And it’s better to show someone that you love them instead of just saying it.
I mean how can I show that I love others, if I can’t even love myself?
Well through this letter, I needed to physically show love by writing in love to myself.
So if you need to put into action some self-love, these are the lessons I learned from my first time writing ia love letter to myself.
Lesson Learned #1: No Lies.
In order to write in love, I got to be honest with myself.
Cheating yourself out of anything and everything.
Cause that’s a lie.
Making up excuses for your past and present shortcomings, failures, mistakes, (insert your own name for them here), etc.
Cause those are lies saying that in order to make yourself feel better, you gotta brush it under the rug and be ashamed about it.
Constructing a false reality about yourself to make yourself feel better
That’s a lie.
Saying that you live life to the fullest but in actuality you are living a life without purpose
You lyin’ through your teeth.
If this sounds harsh, it’s because I know I’ve done all of these things consciously and unconsciously too. And if I am able to do these things to myself, then of course I can do it to others.
By lying to yourself, you’re lying to others and you become a part of the Great Circle of Lies #nasevenya
Even Simba lied to himself to escape the pain of the past. He knew who he was, but due to his self-guilt, he self-sabotaged himself by chillaxing with Timon and Pumbaa.
Because lying is easy. Keeping up the lie is the hard part.
So write in love by writing honestly. Don’t shield yourself from yourself by building a Spartan wall made of lies. Kick out the lies.
Write out your insecurities.
Write out your failures.
Because once you are honest to yourself, you don’t need to make up the lies and consciously or unconsciously become someone else that you don’t even recognize.
Lesson Learned #2 : Be Comfortable With Your Past
My past has a tendency to sideswipe me on a daily basis. And as a 90’s kid, I learned that you “gotta put your past behind you”. Not dwell in it all the live long day. And in order to leave the past behind me and move on, I had to be comfortable waking up the sleeping dogs where they lie.
Meaning | I had to be comfortable learning from my past even if it brought old wounds, challenges, tears, frustrations and fucksh*t.
In college, I learned about the Sankofa bird which means “it is not wrong to go back for that which you have forgotten.”
Meaning | It’s not wrong to go back into the past and learn or relearn a lesson or two from it.
The past is a dwelling place. A place of stagnation. A repetition of fading memories. Learn the lessons that you need to progress then move on.
In the Great Circle of Lies, even Simba had to learn how to be comfortable with his past. He had to learn it on his own since Timon and Pumbaa didn’t believe his past role as a prince. Hell even Mufasa was like,
“Simba, you’ve forgotten me. Now I gotta show up and tell you about yourself.”
He needed the past as a reminder to move forward in order to go woop Scar’s ass and reclaim his hometown. And like Simba, we all need reminders either for an upcoming work meeting, a lunch date or to study for a history quiz.
And though we may not have Mufasa reminding us about ourselves, cause that would be awesome, write in love to your past self, who reminds you everyday of who you are becoming.
Lesson Learned #3: This Is Just The Start
This first letter is just the start. And technically, mine is over a month old. But it’s the beginning of future reformations of what it means to love and be in love with onesself.
Toward the end of my Jordan year, #23, I was disappointed due to my unmet expectations and what felt like purposeless living. But as I was re-reading my love letter, I realized how proud I am of myself by taking the initiative in my own self-growth.
Personal Growth is a Process not a Microwavable Action
I’m not growing by sheer willpower. Cause even your willpower can burnout over time. But I’m learning to grow in love.
Because through loving myself, I naturally grow.
I naturally better myself and my present circumstances.
I naturally achieve my goals.
Love is an action. Write in love in and grow in it. Let your writing be a mind dump. It doesn’t have to be perfect. Mine isn’t and I refuse to edit it. Because every word that I wrote was written in love.
Show yourself love by writing in it.
Write in love by being honest with yourself.
Write in love by accepting and loving your past.
Write in love by constantly growing in love with yourself and your journey.
Whether it is a sentence, a paragraph or fully stylized letter, write in love to yourself, because you are the first person that you should love. All day. Everyday.
For solidarity, here is my letter that I wrote on October 14, 2015.
I, Jessica Jones, promise from here on out to love you, to strive to make you achieve your goals, to help you not cut corners or make excuses for your failures, to love every inch of you physically, emotionally and mentally, to always find ways to take care of you before you even burnout, to trust and push you to transform and change our realities knowing that you will make it better. That I need to love you, Jessica, as you are right now today as well as who you’ve been from as far back as we can remember to this exact point in our timeline. I can’t expect anyone to love you or know you better than I can even though you may want to.
So today, as we commit to loving each other, thank you for our relationship thus far. And know that once we fully accept and love each other, that we will grow and become who we both want to be. I love you, Jessica and I always will despite the body issues and insecurities, the failures and disappointments as well as other storms we have and will weather in the future. We will grow from them together and embrace the beauty of our combined forces of past, present and future.
Thank you Jessica for our past experiences even all of our dumb and life threatening mistakes. You are not a failure. We are not failures. Fuck the what ifs and let’s embrace that we are alive and still have time to make more mistakes and successes and life changing experiences. As we complete another milestone of life, the world still turns (you remember that soap) however chaotically it may spin. But we are still here as we accept and love each other forever and always.
In Peace and Love,