“E-mail yourself a note of appreciation—for anything. Save it to read whenever you need a reminder of how amazing you are.” ~Lori Deschene, Tiny Buddha’s 365 Tiny Love Challenges, November 5th Challenge
Appreciating ourselves can be a challenge. Most of us generally want to be happy and want for others to be happy, but starting in our own space with self-appreciation can be daunting.
Though I feel I have grown in self-love, I’ve been amazed at the strength of self-doubt and even self-hatred I still sometimes encounter.
For example, I might backslide in my work on conscious emotional relating with my husband, lose my temper in an argument, and act unkindly.
The next thing I know a dark cloud has come to visit, full of messages like, “I told you so,” “This is all you are,” or, “You don’t deserve to be happy.” How do I get to this reactive place?
It can happen for a variety of reasons: maybe I didn’t listen to the introverted side of me this week and overscheduled myself. Maybe I tried to please too many people and forgot that my own happiness is valuable.
Even as I learn to listen to and be gentler with myself, I know that throughout life difficult feelings like fear, anger, and self-doubt will be inevitable. The challenge for me is to take some time to feel these experiences and breathe until they subside.
I want to remember that within this shadow side is a scared and powerful little girl, who, like most of us, has not always found the world to be safe. This is a part of myself that I need to show appreciation for, as well as for my curiosity, ability to love, and creativity.
This Tiny Buddha challenge speaks to me because it is a tangible way I can check in with my inner self and give her, as cheesy as it might sound, a high-five, a hug, or a listening ear.
Here are eight notes to myself showing self-appreciation:
1. Thank you for being here today. Thank you for looking for beauty around you. You’re good at that.
2. Hey, sometimes it’s not so easy; sometimes it’s overwhelming, and that’s okay, it’s no failing of yours. It’s okay to take a break. Thanks for letting me know when you need a break.
3. Thank you for having a range of feelings for me to experience and learn from.
4. Thank you for walking the earth; just like the trees and the ocean, you are here, natural in the world. If you need to reconnect, go see a tree or a body of water for a minute.
5. Thank you, body, for being my home.
6. I give you a hug. I thank you today for being my friend.
7. You don’t have to be perfect for me to love you. I love being you and I am proud to be you. Thanks for being the one and only you.
8. Forgiveness is hard, and it’s okay to not have it down perfectly. Thank you for caring about yourself and others; that’s what is most important.
Writing notes to yourself requires a little experimentation and letting go. Remember you don’t have to do it a certain way or share these notes with anyone if you don’t want to.
You may start writing to yourself and end up writing a novel rather than a note, or just write one short note then decide to go take a bath or call a friend for a chat. However it works for you is right.
Scheduled emails and text delays are great ways to spread out the love over time. Some people like to hide notes around their home for themselves.
If you decide to write yourself some notes of appreciation, just begin and see what comes out.
Imagine what you would say to a friend or loved one you appreciate, or what you hope they would say to themselves.
Also, don’t forget that inner child who brings you so much delight and angst as you travel through the world. She or he needs a lot of positive affirmation just like those who are still children in chronological age.
And on a parting note, I think people of all ages can try this practice. As a public school Art teacher I saw tons of students create self-portraits and identity pieces displaying their self-appreciation and loving natures.
I was given the note below one day by a first grader named Kiante. He loved to hug people and write “Love wins” on the chalkboard. It says “Love some Pe[o]ple.”
You are “some people,” so maybe try writing yourself a note of appreciation.
I love me image via Shutterstock