Quantcast

Every Woman Should Write A Love Letter To Themselves

"Eat like you love yourself. Move like you love yourself. Speak like you love yourself. Act like you love yourself."---Unknown

Wellness

I grew up with a mother who was good for writing a letter—or 2 or 10. This was especially the case as I got older, there was a breakdown in communication, and she wanted to make sure she was heard and/or she wanted to clarify a few things and/or sometimes, she even wanted to apologize. Between that being a part of my upbringing and my being an avid reader and writer from an early age, letter writing has continued to be a part of my life and lifestyle. Ask anyone who's close to me—or who I've released before—and they'll tell you that it's nothing for them to receive a letter—or 2 or 10—from me. It's such a powerful way to process, purge and even cleanse in some ways.

I got the confirmation on this several years ago, when I penned a spiritual letter of sorts to single women. Whenever a woman reaches out to me who feels as if she's at her wit's end (romantically speaking), I email it to her. It's been really humbling to see the kind of peace and "Ohh…so that's what this has all been about" insight that it provides. And the beauty of it is, since it's a letter, she can always refer back to it (another plus of sharing your thoughts and feelings via writing rather than simply having a conversation; it's documented). Yeah, letter writing is an underrated superpower. It really is.

That's why I am a huge fan and avid encourager of women writing love letters. No, not to other people (although that's cool too)—to themselves. If the first thing that comes to your mind is that it sounds odd, feels awkward or even leans on the side of vanity, I'm hoping that in 3-5 minutes (give or take), I'll totally be able to change your mind.

There Are Proven Psychological Benefits to Writing Things Down

media.giphy.com

Did you know that if you write your goals down, there's a far greater chance that you'll achieve them? There's an article that ran in Forbes that said this is actually proven in neuroscience. It claims that jotting things down taps into your "external storage" (it's a visual reminder) and your "encoding" (the biological processing by which decisions are made). So already, can you see that if you write yourself a love letter, it will serve as a visual reminder while also helping you to make decisions that are centered around self-love?

Also, there are other psychological benefits that come from writing things down. Writing things down helps you to express your emotions. Writing things down brings forth clarity. Writing things down can also help you to see how much progress you've made over time as you go from one level of thinking to another.

So yeah, before going any further, this point alone should be enough of a reason to pull out a pen and piece of paper, don't you think?

You Need to Document How You Feel About Yourself

media.giphy.com

Sometimes, when a woman writes me about all of the things she hates about her life, I'll ask her to shoot me 10 things that she likes about herself and 10 things that she totally dislikes. 9 times out of 10, it never fails. While she can easily rattle off all of things that she loathes, she struggles with sharing even five things that she loves. Although you might want to automatically chalk that up to her having low self-esteem or a lack of self-awareness, while there may be some truth to that, the reality is that all of our brains come with an automatic negative bias. Researchers are looking into all of the reasons why, but a part of it is due to what we expose ourselves to on a daily basis, both inside and out.

Anyway, I'm bringing this up because between all of the political drama, gossip blogs and vlogs and Instagram filters that we're exposed to on the regular, it can be really easy to become extremely cynical and hard on yourself. One way to counter that is to "reprogram your mind" by focusing on positive stuff. A great starting point is to hone in on specific things about yourself that are good, healthy and affirming.

Since it's so easy to talk about what you don't like about yourself, why not go out of your comfort zone and write down some of the things that you actually do?

It’s a Great Reference Point for the Not-Feeling-Your-Best-Days

media.giphy.com

You wake up 15 minutes late. The outfit that you want to wear decides to fit you funny. You leave your car lights on overnight. When you finally do get to work, you forgot all about the staff meeting you were supposed to lead. Then you get a text from your man that totally pisses you off and a voicemail from your mom that totally leaves you baffled. You order your lunch and it's all wrong. The day just sucks. Sucks, I say.

When you wake up on the wrong side of the bed and it has a domino effect, not only does that have a tendency to drain your energy, it can make you feel all kinds of bad about everything that's transpiring; including when you look into the mirror and it's a bad hair day on top of everything else. Something that can calm and center you is a self-written love letter. It can remind you of all of the things that you've got going right within when it seems like life, at least for today, is all wrong.

It Sets the Standard of What to Require of Others

media.giphy.com

Now that we've gotten a few reasons down for why you should be all for writing a love letter to yourself, you might be thinking, "OK Shellie, but how do I actually go about doing that?" That's where this point comes in. Although you could hash out an email, I think getting some pretty stationary and writing all of what you have to say in your own handwriting is far more impacting. Think about what you love about you—both inside and out. Think about what you are deserving of. Think about what sets you apart from everyone else on this planet. Reflect on the standards and boundaries that must be put into place in honor of the love that you have for you. Tell yourself why you are going to nurture and pamper yourself without reservation or apology more often. Write down all of the reasons why someone should feel honored to have you and why you will wait until that kind of individual comes along.

I promise you, once your letter is complete, it will automatically put a fire in you that will not only inspire you to love yourself, it will require others to respect and esteem you to the utmost as well. Yep, writing yourself a love letter will change your life and the way people in your life treat you. Guaranteed.

It Holds You Accountable to What Love Means to Yourself

media.giphy.com

A lot of us struggle with doing an exercise like this because 1) we don't even know what it means to love ourselves and 2) we definitely don't hold ourselves accountable to doing it. Yet ironically, that's the main point and purpose of writing ourselves a love letter. A letter is a written form of communication. As you're exploring in your mind what self-love means to you and you're putting those words down, it can define love in a way that is distinctive; a way that resonates with you like nothing else can because no one knows you quite like you do.

Then, once the letter is written and either mailed to you (why not? That way you can get more than a bill), posted on your fridge or blown up and hung over your bed, you can read what you said, over and over again, making sure that if no one else loves you right and well, you will. Daily.

So, what are you waiting for? Pull out a bottle of wine, a pen and stationery and get to writing. If something profound comes to mind (and I'm pretty sure that it will), put a line or two in the comment section.

Everyone deserves at least one love letter in life. Especially one that they've written—to themselves.

Want more stories like this? Sign up for our newsletter here and check out the related reads below:

What It Means To Find True Self-Love

Jada Pinkett-Smith Wants You To Chill With The Negative Self-Talk

How Pursuing God Taught Me Self-Love

Feeling Yourself Is The Vital Step To Finding The Love Of Your Life

Feature image by Shutterstock

Originally published on September 7, 2019

ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.

Reparations

We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
Sign up

Featured image by Shutterstock

If there's one thing Historically Black Universities are known, it's fostering a sense of interconnectedness for collaborative genius to thrive. Of all campuses, it was on the soil of The Mecca, Howard University, where She'Neil Johnson-Spencer and Nicolette Graves rooted their friendship and aligned their passion for beauty and natural brains. Today, the two have founded a skincare brand of their own, Base Butter, that has not only carved out their niche space in the market but rallied a community of women to glow from the inside out.

Keep reading... Show less
The daily empowerment fix you need.
Make things inbox official.

As Told To is a recurring segment on xoNecole where real women are given a platform to tell their stories in first-person narrative as told to a writer.

This is Maya's story, as told to Charmin Michelle.

I know this may come to a surprise so many, but here we are. Yes, I got a BBL. If you aren't aware, a BBL is a Brazilian Butt Lift, a cosmetic surgery process where the doctor uses a combination of liposuction and fat-grafting, transfers the fat into the butt, resulting in added volume, defined curves, and a lift. It is technically lipo and a fat transfer. But yeah girl, this has been on my to-do list for a while. And now that I am able to afford it, I went for it.

Keep reading... Show less

As an extension of my monthly self-care routines, facials have become top priority when it comes to maintaining healthy skin. For months I've noticed excess oil, stubborn breakouts and dry cracked lips forcing me to seek an alternative to my everyday skincare routine. Unable to solve my skincare troubles, I decided it was time to seek the help of a professional to help revive my dull skin.

Keep reading... Show less

I will never make an apology for the fact that I adore the Scriptures. There is something very, remarkable is the word that comes to mind, about the fact that even all of these years later (thousands and thousands of years later), there is so much wisdom within the Bible that is still relevant and — if you want to live a content life — even necessary. Matter of fact, some of the people in my world who aren't Bible followers or even believers in God will admit to me that Proverbs (King Solomon's book of wisdom) has some real gems in it.

Keep reading... Show less

August invites you to shine bright like the sun which requires you to leave behind the sob stories of being the underdog. Recognize your power as a reflection of the Divine and watch how far you can go. Be mindful of that inner critic when Mercury enters Virgo. For every negative thought, counteract it with three compliments about yourself. When Venus enters her home sign, relationship matters get a whole lot sweeter after the wild ride that was Mercury Retrograde.

Keep reading... Show less
Exclusive Interviews

Exclusive: Find Confidence With This Summer Workout Created By A Black Woman For Black Women

Tone & Sculpt trainer Danyele Wilson makes fitness goals attainable.

Latest Posts