At Zebra Sounds, we’re dedicating May to exuberant, heartfelt, sing loud – dance wild, revel-in-your-one-precious-life self-love. Last Monday, to counteract all the negative shit we tell ourselves daily, I suggested we write ourselves love letters.
When I sat down to write mine, I expected to feel awkward and self-conscious. I thought it would be hard to talk to myself nicely, but it wasn’t. It was exhilarating. Usually when you give someone a pep talk, you’re sort of guessing what they need to hear, hoping you get it right, hoping if you don’t, at least your love will shine through. But writing to myself… I knew just what I needed to hear.
This is my love letter to me.
Breathe. Listen. I have important things to say.
Remember Humboldt in April, how you walked through forests and over sand dunes, along shore lines and creeks and marshlands poised on the edge of spring? Remember how, as you walked, something inside you stilled, an inner voice shrill with worry and doubt, a nervous, chattering energy that kept you in motion and exhausted at the same time? Remember how it felt to lie down on the dunes and watch the clouds skim overhead?
Don’t stop there. Walk more. Walking is good. Pay attention to your steps, the planet pressing up to hold you. Spend time every day just being.
You’re doing great. You’ve leaped so many times in the last two years, often without a landing in sight… and you haven’t always landed safely. You’ve had your heart broken, your mettle tested, your ego bruised. That’s okay. Good even. Cliche or not, we grow in the hard times. We evolve in failure. It’s a weird (but reassuring) truth.
The important thing, the most important thing, is that you’ve known joy, the exhilaration of sudden awareness. When you open up and let the world in, epiphanies happen. You meet amazing people. Some of them will make you cry. Some will challenge and expand you. Some will remind you what it means to love fearlessly… all of them will change you.
Here’s what I wish for you…
I wish you’d stop being afraid – of getting older, of missing the boat, of being too late. I wish you’d believe that beauty radiates from experience and so you can’t waste even an instant wishing you’d acted sooner. I wish you’d dance your precious, wild, love-filled life assured that anyone watching is mesmerized. There are few things more breathtaking than watching those who take life by the hand and just dance.
I wish you’d trust love, when all else fails, trust love to be the lasting thing, the thing you’ve always got, no matter how slim your bank account, how unfashionable your clothes, how awkward your social graces. (Authenticity rocks… even when it’s clumsy.)
I wish you’d live your big, fat, north-bound life, not in spurts, but always. Even when you’re nervous, uncertain, tired, stressed. You’re good at messy, embrace that. Expand, connect, explore, risk.
Be fierce. Be amazing. Be alive. Be j. No one else is going to.
Did you write yourself a letter? If you did, I’d love for you to post it (or an excerpt of it, or a link to it) here in my comments section. If you didn’t, maybe you can write yourself a few friendly sentences. I’ll totally back you up.
This week’s self-love assignment: Give yourself permission, every day, at least once. Eat something decadent, take yourself somewhere gorgeous, use crayons, take a stand, roll down your windows and sing (I’m thinking Bohemian Rhapsody here), dance with a stranger, hula hoop, daydream, doodle, pour a glass of champagne, wander… One thing. Every day.
Next Monday, we’ll compare notes.