Four years later – you’ve written more than 200 self-love letters on Valentine’s Day. Every year I read these letters, sometimes with a glass of wine, and my heart just swells. How incredible it is that so many of you – from Australia to Wyoming – are taking a (very special) moment to remember what makes you so lovely. Because you are – you are so full of sass, smarts, kindness, beauty, hope, power, strength, courage and of course… love.
On Valentine’s Day and always, from my heart to yours, never forget the words you’ve written below. And if you haven’t written anything -that’s ok! – I dare you to put something on paper. You’ll be amazed at how cleansing and empowering it really is to simply… be loved by yourself.
Lindsay Aurora Tigar,
This year, you’ve left me a little speechless. Which is a rarity for you – considering you live your life through words, both written and often, excitedly spoken. I think your mom probably said it best when you went South to visit for the holidays: “You’re so full of love, Linds, I can just feel it. You’re bursting.”
And you are.
Like you always have, you set your mind to do something in 2014, and damn it – you did it. You finally let go of the past and you forgave yourself for being imperfect. You forgave New York and all of the men and all of the frustrations for not working on your timeline, and you then went an extra step: you threw that to-do list away and you started living your life.
A year later, you have now stamped your passport with England, France, Italy, and right now, when this letter publishes, you’ll be in Denmark (and possibly swinging by Sweden for dinner, simply because you can). You have worked so incredibly hard to make your freelancing career take off – and now your byline is, well, everywhere. You always dreamed of writing a book one day… and now you have an agent (a real agent!). You had the courage to leave a bad job that made you unhappy to take a chance on a start-up that you’ve fallen in love with (and loves you back). You wanted to move downtown and be closer to the scene, and you wanted roommates you could also be friends with, and here you are in this East Village apartment, listening to C hum in the kitchen while she cooks. You wanted to be kinder to yourself and to your body, and you are more active than you’ve ever been, you put better things in your body, and girlfriend – you look awesome. You worked hard for that body – and you’re still working. I love that you remind yourself that you’re (more than) enough almost every single day, it’s important. Don’t stop doing that.
And love? Well. You’re a bit disappointed that almost three-and-a-half years since you last broke up with someone, you’re still wondering where that special guy is. But I tell you something: he’s definitely somewhere. I wish I knew where (then you’d stop worrying so much about it) – but I do know he exists. And I also know you’ll meet him one very fine day, but in the meantime, you’re doing a pretty incredible job of spreading love everywhere you go. To readers, to your friends, to your Facebook friends (they aren’t always the same), to your co-workers, to your dog (and her puppy friends), to your family near and far, to strangers on the street – literally, to everyone.
And that has made you bursting with love, like your mom noticed. Maybe more importantly, you can feel it. You feel that love in your heart – it’s warm, it’s powerful, it can’t be contained. You want to spread it. You want people to have hope. You want people to be full of fire and magic and endless positivity. You are one of the most thoughtful, caring, good-spirited and yet, incredibly sassy and confident women I’ve met. Everyone tells you that your eyes are beautiful – and they are, but mostly because of the person that’s shining from behind them. Keep sharing your heart with the world. Keep traveling and seeing the world. Keep believing in goodness, in romance, in butterflies, in your dreams, in yourself.
I won’t tell you to stop worrying – a part of you always will. But every once in a while, Linds? Maybe after yoga or when you’re walking those two miles to and from work each day, stop. Take a deep breath. Look at all of the things unfolding around you. Own the part of the universe that you make better. Smile that beautiful smile of yours (with your teeth!). Love with that beautiful soul. And my love, one day, you will have what you want. The book. The house. The bylines in prestigious publications. The kitchen that’s actually big enough to cook in. The backyard for Lucy. The passport that needs more pages for more stamps. The babies. The income to allow more freedom. And yes, the man, that love of your life.
It will all be there one day, but today, on Valentine’s Day, and all the time, stop. Relax. Dance. Believe. Share. Live with your heart out loud.
With all my heart, Linds, 26, New York City
You may not feel this all the time but do you know how amazing you are?? You spend a lot of time and energy putting yourself down and feeling like you are never or will never be good enough. It’s time to stop that! You don’t ever take the time to really think about this, but do you know how incredible you are?? You have such a kindness in you that makes you so very unique. You are beautiful and you care so much about others.
Though people may call you crazy and look at you as you are and though you do have your faults, your positive qualities much outweigh the negatives. I’ve seen you work so hard at being a better you and you my dear have come a far way than where you were two years ago and even a year ago. Let go of the negative people in your life this year and keep a tighter grip on those that are so kind to you. Remember all of the kind things you say to other people and start saying some of those things to yourself, because you beyond deserve it.
This is the year that should be all about you and what makes your happy. Keep your head up and do whatever makes you happy this year, as long as you’re not hurting anyone else in the process. I know this will be an amazing year for you because you have decided already that it will be. -Anonymous, 27, Houston, TX
If it would not get me some strange looks I would send myself roses on Valentine’s Day and why not I deserve it! This is a big year for me….the Big 4 0. In the last forty years I have seen a lot of things. As far as childhoods go mine was normal with the ups and downs, fights and make ups with everyone from parents and siblings to friends and lovers.
Upon entering adulthood I thought I had everything figured out. I had followed the rules from graduating high school, to going onto college, meeting my future husband, career, house everything. Those early years were great when I thought I knew it all. Sure there were bumps in the road but I could get through. Mid twenties slipped into late twenties filled with kids and family, preschool and play dates.
Then something changed. First it was health, soon time was spent with doctors and medication, tests and results. Then bumps in my marriage phone calls from the police in the night because of drunk driving arrests to unknown callers looking for my husband who acted surprised when I said I was his wife and could take a message. Still with my blinders on I moved into my thirties.
Ringing in the Big 3 0 with surgery when my friends were vacationing away for theirs was hard enough but then my husband came home announcing he was done. As a shell of the person I once was I let him stay in my life, part of my home cooking, cleaning and doing his laundry for nine months while he planned to leave. With a good friend by my side I thought I could get through but then suddenly she was there for him more and helping him to move out while moving out of her own home at the same time and leaving her marriage. How did this happen? How did I not see?
Mid thirties meant learning to survive on my own with two kids to raise. Going back to work, pulling myself back up and moving on because what choice did I have. Then suddenly I was on the verge of forty and someone new was coming around. Someone who taught me to laugh again, someone to show me what it means to be loved again. First I thought he was crazy – didn’t he see what he was getting? An almost forty mother of two with health issues and financial instability. He didn’t care – he saw something I had lost sight of. He saw a strong woman who had overcome adversities. He saw a mature woman not bitter because of life but seasoned with the good and bad it had to offer.
As time went on I saw these things more and more in myself. I do deserve roses for Valentine’s Day. I have weathered the storm, come out on the other side better for having experienced it all. So I say to myself Happy Valentines Day! –Anonymous, 40, North Carolina
You’re a mess, sometimes. Sometimes, you have food all over your face and lipstick on your teeth and you’re so lost in your thoughts you forget how to speak when a gorgeous guy with bright white teeth comes up to you and asks what your name is. Sometimes you want too much and forget how simple life is if you focus on the things you just need. Sometimes you forget that love is something you need to work toward. That love is something you need to open up your arms and say, YES, PLEASE, come to me. Even if it makes you jittery and scared and stress sweat. Even if you don’t know how. Even if you don’t think the person who is trying to love you will be there tomorrow or when you’re old and wrinkley.
But you know what, Jen? You are strong. You are resilient. You are, sometimes, even fearless. You are all the things a 20-something should be: slightly in debt, slightly lost in their adventurous reality, slightly determined to make something absolutely beautiful out of their meaningful life.
Everyone deserves love. Wild, loyal, and courageous love. Even you, Jen. Even you. Never forget that. –Jen Glantz – author of All My Friends are Engaged and Professional Bridesmaid (founder of Bridesmaid for Hire), 26, New York
I am writing to tell you how far that you have come and how I am proud of you. I can not believe that you are turning 30 in June! I remember when you were in college you would always think what type of person you would become. It has been a fun journey.
The most important part of your journey was the time you took to just enjoy being single and getting to know yourself. In those four years you were able to travel with friends, get your masters in HR, and really just enjoy being alone. I believe those four years prepared you to fall in love with your now boyfriend. I hope that as you continue on this journey you remember how awesome you are. I know you tend to get discouraged but keep moving.
You have to remember that the greatest stories are where people endured a lot of challenges and still had the courage to overcome them. You have to always believe in yourself. Now that you are in a relationship you have to always remember that self love doesn’t end. It is an ongoing journey and you have to always remember to take time for yourself. 2015 is going to be a great year. I am forever grateful for that time. Thank you! I love you!!! -Mara Grace, 26, New Jersey
Well here we are another year on your own on Valentines Day but that’s OK because you would rather be on your own and love the skin your in then be with an idiot that you were with for 13 years of your life who mentally and physically abused you until you were so insecure that you thought you could not find anyone better, but through it all you have come out stronger than ever, went to Canada after the relationship ended and lived and worked there for 2 years and met some amazing people that is an accomplishment ins itself.
You have now come back to Australia and had to be a strong woman for your mother who is going through cancer.
You are a strong, positive, independent woman and you do not need a man to tell you that or tell you how gorgeous or beautiful you are because you already know you are. Your smile is infectious and you make everyone around you happy to be around you.
Be happy within yourself I know you can do it! -Love Beautiful Belinda, 33, Sydney, Australia
Wow what a year you’ve had! You made the hard decision to end your marriage, moved to a different city where you knew no-one except your dog, stood up to the company about the office bully, changed jobs and did some dating. You also crashed and burned along the way.
The hardest thing you had to go through this year was figuring out how to get back up when you felt life had punched you to the ground. You made the brave decision to go to counselling in order to get a bit of guidance and you also told your family and friends about what you were trying to deal with and they responded amazingly with lots of love and support.
You’ve changed your body and are learning to love it. You’ve also worked out what you want from life, your job and your future love. You are setting yourself challenges, big and small, in order to keep learning about what you want and what you can achieve. Your friends have told you that you are a beautiful, wonderful and inspiring woman. I know you don’t really believe it fully yet but you need to remember those words and who said them – who they lie to you? No they wouldn’t so they must be true!
Keep doing what you’re doing and you are going to have an amazing life. A life full of love, laughter and adventures. A life that you deserve! -Sara Chick, 37, Cardiff, UK
It’s been a hard 18 months since you broke up with your exe..I know you miss him when you hear a song you both liked or a joke that you both would get but you miss him the most on holidays and special occasions and all those other times when you need to speak to someone and only him would understand..you will never know why he left since there was no closure but I want you to know that I’m SO PROUD of you,the far you’ve come,the woman you’ve become,the decisions you’ve made with you’re life and just how strong a person you are..its true when they say that it takes getting hurt to know how strong you are..
Do not give up on love yet,one day you’ll find a man who will love you for exactly who you are with all your flaws and all..They will not try to change you and you will love them back with your so very big heart..he’s out there wondering when he’ll find you too..So for now live your life ,take risks,go on dates ,do all the things you’ve ever wanted to do but don’t forget the Important thing ,Love yourself with your all and be confident in your skin someday you will find the love you deserve..You matter ❤️❤️❤️…
Xoxo Nissik, 28, Kansas
2014 was a crappy year for you, but you took lemons and made lemonade by channeling your anger and frustration into one HELL of a novel. And look—- that novel is now agented and is going to be sent out to big publishers this year. That’s nothing to scoff at.
So as 2015 begins and you’re trying to move forward in the best possible way, remember what you did and focus on what you will do– your big author career is ahead and you earned it. No matter what people say, no matter how bummed you get, focus on the good and not the bad because you’re awesome and your book will be too. Love always, You, but the cooler version. –Nikki Roberti, 25, Boone, North Carolina
To the one I truly love with all my heart mind spirit and soul,
OMG I love this beautiful Carmel Colored Chocolate Covered Chocolate Chip Cookie of a woman that I am. I love my big inviting eyes that speaks volumes to the state of my deep soul and spirit. I love the way I smile, that says I’m confident in who I am, and know what I have to offer you whether as a stranger, friend, associate or just a passer- by. I love the strength I posses to fight for what it is I believe in, no matter what anyone says or thinks. Oh my will is so strong, that when I fall even by my own choices, I can get up, dust myself off and just say ok I’m alive, so I have purpose and start again more intelligently.
I love my heart it is so sweet, it always wants to help those who are in need of a tool that will enable that person to be a better individual. I love my mind that is so deep, sharp and colorful. I am so in love with me only because I found the deepest part of me which is GOD consciousness. God loves me, I love God, I love me and I love my fellow man. Oh my goodness, how can I not love this woman?, especially when I had to fight to overcome so much obstacles of what people said I should be or what the world tells me how I should be.
I love Kelly Plummer, she is beautiful inside and it reflects on the outside with a sunless glow, she is sweet, elegant, kind, her personality is warm. She is magnetic, strong powerful and filled with LOVE. I am so proud to have created this fabulous woman that I now am.
True beauty starts when you be yourself, and accept yourself just the way you are. So that is how I choose to be, I love you so much, I am so happy that I have all of me, to share with me and just a few others. Even though I’m single for this valentine’s day, and all I have is me and that is more than enough. I have to give myself away to me, before I can give or share myself with anybody else.
Plus I want to be my best me I can be, so that I can attract the best and suitable man for me. So I will wait…till I get me just right enough, then my equal will manifest. In order to have the man of my dreams , I have to be the woman I always dreamed to be. Oh there she goes again, so powerful and special, I love me! HAHAHA!!! -Sincerely, Kelly’s Spirit xoxoxo, 28, St. Catherine, Jamaica
Dear Shar Shar,
This is my first letter to you. I would just like to say that I am so happy to know you. You are truly an amazing, loving and beautiful person who is admired a lot and who has come a long way to being this gorgeous lady i see on a daily basis. You are a genuine and selfless person who is always there to help out in whatever way you can. I truly admire how beautiful you are on the outside and on the inside. Your soul shines bright each and every passing day.
I know it is somewhat difficult for you to always be true to yourself especially in your present surrounding which is fill with so much negativity. I know you keep focusing on the good in your life and i know there are times when you feel hopeless and at times cry yourself to sleep but you don’t let it overcome you and take over your well being, you stay strong no matter what. I admire you for that; your strength goes beyond what anyone can see.
You love unconditionally and i know it may be difficult for you when the love is not return the same, but that does not mean that you give up on love, it just means you choose who you give your love to and i commend you more than ever for not giving up and continue being who you are and not letting the bad experiences change you. You are a very intelligent young woman who wise and knows when to let go and move on.
Many people see you and wonder if it is just a facade you put off for the world but what they don’t know is that the woman i see everyday knows that life is full of ups and downs, learning experiences and daily challenges which makes you the person you at present. You don’t let life break you, you stand strong and tackle all challenges head on, sometimes you fail but you brush off yourself and take it all as a learning experience and sometimes you pass with flying colors.
You are single but you do not let it bother you one bit. You strive to be the best you possibly can and a better you than you were the day before; I applaud you for that. Keep doing your best in everything and don’t you ever let anyone change who you are. Never become bitter or sad and let negativity bring you down. You are a child of God and will always be bless. Shar Shar my love continue to be the strong woman that you are, continue to be kindhearted, loving, caring and happy as nothing in this world can replace what and who you truly are.
Love you to the moon and back always and forever. –Shari L., 27, Atlanta, Georgia
You’re learning to relax, to figure out what works for you, to make choices, to forgive yourself for your choices.
If the world were in your control, you’d be king by now. If random factors and luck and unknowable things didn’t come into play, you’d be king.
But they’re half of it, and that’s okay. Success after success is a thing for your own mind. If the world didn’t throw waves at you, you’d just laze on the high seas forever. And there’s got to be more to surfing than that. -Anonymous, 24, New York
You are kind hearted, smart, funny and full of love. Never forget how far you’ve come and where you are headed. Anytime you hear a whisper of negativity drown it out with postive thoughts of success and future accomplishments. You are a daughter, sister, friend and will become a mother soon. You are a nurturer and will be blessed with an intelligent, beautiful, loving child with charecteristics that will make you happy.
Always be thankful for the friends you have in your life and the loved ones that make you better each day. Anytime you want to change someone and their behaviour, reflect on your behaviour and your ways and try to understand them more. Love on more people and keep volunteering your time. When you feel like it’s not helping anyone remember the many smiles you see on those kids face when they walk in the door and see you there. Keep smiling, keep loving, keep being positive and keep reaching for the stars!!!! –Arianie A., 33, Atlanta, Georgia
Fun is relative. Don’t let others define fun for you. Do what makes you happy. You own your life and body. The only one who gets a vote on that is you.
You’ll be 25 soon! Keep pushing for your goals. Don’t let one, two, or three drawbacks get you down. If you really want it, go for it. NO EXCUSES! You’ll get there and victory will taste really sweet.
It’s going to be an awesome year. 2014 was great too, remember! Even though you felt like your heart turned to dust, mixed with dirt, and served as a meal for 5 monsters, the feeling was and is temporary. What’s not is this year so make sure to make the most of it as it will never come back.
Don’t settle and don’t feel guilty for not settling. See other women’s stories as empowerment. Keep fighting the patriarchy. Keep running and eating healthy. See little girls as an inspiration and the type of society you would like to leave them.
Love, Jeanne, 24, Puerto Rico
Never forget that you are one of the hardest workers you know. Not to mention also the most stubborn. Nothing can stop you but you.
2015 is your year, Kayla. Go out, grab it and please please please don’t hold yourself back
Love always, Kayla, 24, New York
My dear Real Sweet 40s gal,
You deserve the best that the universe can offer. You have to let go of the baggage that’s holding you back and making you turn your focus away from your third eye onto your not so distant past. It’s time to let it go, fly higher and be in the present, just like your yoga teacher tells you.
There is really no past, only the present, so focus on that, just like your soul healer tells you. Listen to Doreen Virtue and her angels who are always ready to answer your burning questions about love, Mr. Right and finding that place called home that would give you a sense belonging. Remember that God put you on earth for a higher purpose other than “figuring out why he doesn’t call, only texts” and how to come off as alluring instead of boring on a first date.
Embrace your natural pieces and accept that surrender is the best option in the dating battlefield and open the doorway for better and wonderful things to come every time you feel like you will just be single forever. Just keep fighting the good fight and who knows, a blessing may someday come in the form of a nice guy with a brave heart who will stick around. You are worth it!
Love, Real sweet 40s gal, 41, Hawaii
I know the song that’s playing in your head right now is One Republic’s I Lived and the line you’re thinking about is that one, the one about love. I know you’re asking yourself how it is a good thing to fall in love and for it to hurt so bad because what makes a song beautiful to you are the lyrics behind the instrumentals. I know it doesn’t feel like love is something you believe in now and I know you’ve been hurt by people who made promises they later broke or by people you trusted and allowed into that private sphere of your life but I don’t think you should give up. I know everyone has told you this before, how amazing you are and how amazing the person you find will be, and you barely believe them anymore, because people you’ve loved before have taught you to expect the worst, but it’s true. If you won’t believe them, believe me.
You’re short and love to make jokes about your height and blame everything on it, which is good because it means you have a great sense of humour about your shortcomings(pun intended). Being short makes you brave and sometimes loud which makes people take notice of you and appreciate what you have to offer. You love to laugh from the heart and a good joke will make the dullest of days turn into one of the best. Your breathtaking smile has drawn many a people to you and given them a glimpse into your beautiful heart, radiating warmth and kindness(even when your smile sometimes shows off that annoying grey filling you got years ago while in college…argh). You being short and petite makes you cute and cuddly and sometimes pocket friendly(though I hope no one ever takes that literally).
Don’t even get me started on your sarcasm because it’s opening a can of worms to even start writing about it…phew. You have used that sarcasm to get you through many awkward situations and get someone to laugh, or even yourself in an effort to keep tears of anger or frustration at bay. People have described you as funny before and I concur with them because you are really funny especially when you are trying not to be. You never used to be this way and were quite shy when you were younger but as you have grown into the confident young woman you now are, this part of you has grown along with it. The sarcasm is a must keep, MUST.
I know how much you love to read a good book that brings you to tears or watch an emotional movie that makes you cry just as much as you love to watch stand-up comedies from Trevor Noah(I think it’s because you are a very diverse person). I know that you love to drink a glass of your favourite chilled wine after a long day in those fancy ‘Olivia Pope’ glasses your mum got you while lighting a scented candle just to admire the beauty of its flame and breath in its scent. I know you love swimming because hitting the water gives you some sort of reprieve that you also sometimes get from shopping(I also know that you love to shop and would not hesitate to if given the opportunity).
The things that make you beautiful are also some of the things that make you ever so weird, like how you would rather get late for work on a Monday morning cleaning your fridge than leave it grimy or how you sing and dance along to your favourite song in traffic despite stares from strangers in vehicles nearby. The way you are deathly afraid of spiders and cows is really amusing and how you sleep with a light on because you don’t like the dark much is adorable. Sometimes, actually most times, when you meet a guy you think is really cute you get tongue-tied and I think it’s so cute how you, of so many words, can lose the ability to voice them then under his gaze. I know you sometimes get into a bad mood over something so small but the amazing thing about you is how fast you snap out of that terrible mood and start giggling a few minutes later because you saw a teddy bear that is cute and fuzzy and pink.
You have been through a lot, as has every other person I presume, but you have handled it quite maturely and come out stronger at the end of it all. Your heart has been broken a couple of times and it has made you wary of love and a bit more distrusting of friends, especially those who want to climb out of the friend zone, which is okay because this is what the twenties are about…falling in love, getting hurt, making mistakes and learning from them. You’ve come a long way in forgiving those who have hurt you severely and it’s great that you are working hard to rebuild some of the relationships that had suffered along the way. I know it felt terrible that day when you sat on your kitchen floor and sobbed relentlessly and alone over that guy but look at how far you have come! You may not see it everyday but you have grown and you’ve finally learnt how important it is to let some things and some people go.
Sometimes you get worried that you will never find the kind of love that you want and you wonder if you should settle but I urge you not to. If you could only look in the mirror and realise that the kind of love that is most important to you now is the kind that you could give yourself, you would be so much happier. One day you will meet him, and he will appreciate the things you have already fallen in love with yourself for, like your giggle when you read a funny tweet or the twinkle in your eye when something unexpectedly makes you happy. Sometimes you get in a sort of a funk and you worry and think then over-think and work yourself into a state…just calm down when that happens, it will sort itself out I promise and like your mum likes to say, whatever is meant to be yours will find a way of being yours.
You’re turning 26 soon and you’re worried about your future in its whole entirety…breathe, it will be fine. One year older means you are one year wiser so just relax, do your best and it will come together. You will sometimes fail miserably at things, as you have in the past, but it doesn’t make you any less awesome. You are a strong beautiful young woman and don’t you ever forget that young lady! Take more time to appreciate yourself and do those things you like, take more risks and go out there and when it hurts like hell, because I assure you at some point it will, focus on the highs and take a step back to appreciate the beauty that you are. Be brave and courageous and fight for who you are and never lose it. Remember how truly special you are and when you forget it, gaze at those beautiful brown eyes and let them remind you of this. I love you darling, always have and always will, and I will be forever true to you.
Love, Yvonne K., 26, Nairobi, Kenya
Dear Fabulous Self,
You’ve come a long, long way in the past 28 years and I couldn’t be prouder of you. 2014 alone was quite the year of new experiences that led to major highs and some major lows but at the end of the day, you learned SO much to take with you throughout life.
The best part is you’ll continue to learn. You’ll learn to never give up on the butterflies – they are so worth the wait. You’ll learn to never settle, don’t ever settle! You’ll learn that patience is a great virtue when it comes to relationships. You’ll learn what qualities you want and need in your partner. You’ll learn time and again that timing – is everything. You’ll learn what your strengths are and that you’re stronger than you think. You’ll learn that ‘the one’ does exist and while he might not be here yet and you’re currently still doubting his existence, he’s real and you’ll meet not a moment sooner than you’re meant to. You’ll learn that life is a series of events that no matter how hard you plan for them, life will take its unexpected twists and turns to lead you to the life you are meant to lead.
So continue to love you, trust you and believe in you. Happy Valentine’s Day!
Love, Your Fabulous Self, 28, New York
What another wonderful year of learning your heart. You have seen the nooks and crannies of what true love can be–with an amazing partner who has stood by your side during some of the toughest times of your young life. Although parts of this year have been scary and unknown, your sweet partner has held your hand and told you it will all be okay the whole time (he was right, you know). It has been an incredible lesson of understanding the capacity and strength of the human heart, as well as knowing it’s okay to lean on someone else. I am so proud of what you’ve accomplished this year, and learning one major thing–you are worth it.
You are worth an incredible new job. You are worth the adoration and support of your friends and family. You are worth taking a day to yourself and recharging. You are worth all the good things that come into your life, and you are worth letting go of all the bad. Knowing your self-worth is an ongoing journey and this year highlighted some of the reasons why it’s important to know your limitations, and that it’s okay to tell someone (even if it’s your terrifying boss) that you are worth so much more than the way they treat you. Hooray for growth! Hooray for community!
Hooray for fostering the relationships in your life so that when you need someone, there is always a person to reach out and guide you back to your track of positivity. 2014 was a year of understanding not only what your love can do for others, but what THEIR love can do for YOU. So tonight as you’re cuddling up with your amazing, handsome man and eating lobster, watching traditional Valentine’s Day episodes of 30 Rock & The Office, remember that you are loved. Remember that you are cherished. And most of all, remember that you are awesome as hell. Xoxo, baby girl.
Love, Michelle, 26, Asheville, North Carolina
Happy Valentine’s Day to the person I have truly learned to love, to the person who has unwavering strength, compassion and generosity. YOU have so much to be proud of and thankful for in life. You are forgiving yourself for your flaws and past relationship mistakes and celebrating a new type of love, happiness and warmth. In 2015, you celebrate doing more of what makes you happy. You celebrate diving into the unknown with a new city, new job, new puppy and new graduate school experience. You’re doing it. You’re mastering it. And you’re amazing! Today, I celebrate finding a new type of happiness in myself; a fabulous group of friends and a lasting love in myself because at the end of the day, I really am enough. Give yourself a break. You’re on the right track.
You ask the same question five times even though you know the answer and sometimes speak too loudly when you get excited about a topic or conversation. But, you know what – that’s you and it’s something you should embrace. I love how you can strike up a conversation with anyone. You are passionate about learning other people’s stories and putting yourself in their shoes. Now, that is a wonderful skill to have everyday.
You also don’t need to define your worth on the basis of a relationship. Relish in the ability to discover and grow all on your own so when the time comes that you get to forever share your heart with another, you are fully in love with yourself. This is your time. This is your year. Katie, be open and love with your whole heart, but love yourself and love everything. There is a great match for you out there. And when you find him – he will be amazing. He will love and respect you just the way you are. Moving forward I will expect nothing less.
Here’s to the love you never thought would be as important as the love you have for yourself. Here’s to being a powerful woman. Here’s to realizing that you can love someone else the way you love yourself — unconditionally and repeatedly, no matter what, over and over again. Here’s to an amazing year filled with laughter, joy, culture, strength, growth and lots of inspiration. Here’s to loving the person I’ve become because I fought to become her. Happy Valentine’s Day. Go celebrate :)
Love, Katie P., 25, Minnepolis, Minnesota
Dear Chloe Jewel Riccardo,
You are an incredible lady with a heart of gold. You have survived many obstacles and challenges in your life since day one. You have been through a challenging year that tested your faith, relationships, friendships, and even yourself.
You can survive anything along the way thrown at you, if anyone comes against you, or anything embrace it, accept it, and continue to challenge it. You have been through worst things in life and you know you will always come out on top, more enlightened, more inspired, and a fighter. You may look like a lady outside but inside a Japanese ninja warrior, an American solider, a Royal Queen, and a Superwoman who can handle pretty much any situation with grace, class, intelligence, physical and mental strength all four of those characters are inside you. If you channel the four of them you can accomplish anything in life and you will.
You are capable of loving others and have given to others as much as you possibly can, you know you deserve greatness, a man with confidence, security with being with a unique, strong, independent, and loving woman. A man who is intelligent, wise, giving, optimistic, but real enough to tell you the truth. You deserve happiness and to share your life with someone who wants you most of all. You should be with a man who wants all of you completely. The key to being with someone you must remember is if they don’t make you happy, if they don’t allow you to be yourself, if they encourage, and want to see you at your most best self.
Some of the men may not be worthy of your time, your attention, your love, support, and affection as well however when you date a man, you will get closer and closer to meeting the one ahead. Remember God created a man specifically for you and who will be with you. Give yourself the experiences, patience, and he will find you.
This year in 2015 enjoy yourself, laugh, have fun, look out for yourself, protect yourself, remember to be with someone who will cherish you like a precious diamond. God and your parents gave you the middle name “Jewel” (a precious gem) for a reason and always remember that’s how you should be treated. Love Always, Me (Ms. Chloe Jewel Riccardo), NYC
Love has been a part of your dreams from the time you were a little girl dancing around to songs on the radio. Even when you tried to chalk it up to societal expectations and pushed it aside to pursue career success, there was a part of you that knew there was more to the goal than a title or a paycheck. But love has been pretty hard to believe in lately. Watching your parents split and discouraging interactions with romantic hopefuls has shaken your faith.
But if there’s one thing that can be said for you, it’s that you are resilient. And determined, stubbornly so. If love is something that you really want, and in the quiet of your heart I know it is, you will find a way. You always do.
In the meantime, take a step back and remember to see yourself the way that others do. The way your best friend admires your intelligence, confidence, strength, and wit. The way your mom marvels at the woman you have become. The way that colleagues respect your accomplishments. How your brother is so proud to have you for a sister. I don’t need to tell you to give more love. That is something you have always been full of. But it’s time to turn around and see it for yourself. And then you’ll realize that when someone puts that much love into the world, it’s only a matter of time before it returns to you.
Love, Cee, 27, New York
I think sometimes when you’re standing in the kitchen washing bottles for the ump-teenth time that day, wondering if you’ve showered in the last couple days, and praying the twins stay asleep for more than five minutes so you can just sit still for a minute after you finish items 4-87 on your to-do list that you forget you’re a rock star.
I mean seriously. Check you out, doing those calve raises while you wash bottles so you can rock your high heels during the ever elusive date night. High heels you actually feel sexier in a year after the twins were born than you did the year before.
I don’t think you give yourself enough credit for accomplishing everything you do in a day’s time off of your to-do lists. I KNOW you don’t give yourself credit for the things you accomplish that aren’t even on there. Why do your babies get excited when the Friends intro song comes on? Because you always, no matter what chore you’re in the middle of or how much sleep you haven’t had, scoop at least one of them up (pat yourself on the shoulder for the times you scoop up both) and dance around like an idiot until they are giggling and dancing in your arms. Also, kudos to you for knowing that dancing like nobody is watching isn’t something to be ashamed of when someone walks in and caring more about that moment with your daughters than what Papaw or Daddy may think when they catch you in the act. One day the girls will dance just because it makes them happy too if you’re lucky.
Have you ever really thought about how lucky you are? I know 2014 felt anything but lucky but if you really think about it… Nobody is luckier than you. I know you feel like a failure every time something goes wrong with the babies health-wise but honestly, you’ve taken ever curve ball thrown at you and knocked it out of the park (the metaphorical park because any real life ball being thrown your way would make you duck and cringe). Babies born three months early? You spent three months essentially on your own taking care of them in the small ways you were allowed to and soaking up every ounce of medicinal information given so you could adequately advocate for them once they were home and seeing a slew of specialists, doctors, therapists, etc.
Most people would have used up every ounce of their existence just caring for two special needs twins (I mean seriously: TWO) but you didn’t forget about your oldest daughter, the one who grew in your heart and not your belly, and put as much energy into saving her from a bad situation as you did into making sure your twins were thriving. I think you forget not every woman is willing to do that much for their “own” children, let alone another woman’s, and you should remember how amazing that makes you. You’re an amazing mother. Seriously. You can look at your three daughters in 2015 and see it has all been worth it. I’m proud of you for being the kind of mom who fights for her kids, dances with them, advocates for them, and trades sleep for 3am “play time” just to wake up with Ky and spend more time getting her “cute” for school in one morning than you do on yourself all week it seems.
I know you don’t always feel cute and you rarely feel sexy anymore but even you have caught yourself thinking, “I’ve never felt prettier,” in some of the most random moments. Motherhood has made you more beautiful than anything else ever could. When your babies wrap their fingers in your long messy hair and pet your face it doesn’t matter that you haven’t worn mascara in a week or brushed your hair since – well, that’s not important. What is important? That your babies see how beautiful you are and they make you feel it. You’ve looked at them looking up at you and felt beautiful. Hold onto that feeling because you are. Even with baby spit up on your black leggings and some sort of sticky stuff in your hair. One day the babies will be able to tell you that you’re the prettiest mommy ever and one day they won’t spit up on your leggings.
While sometimes the last thing you want is “sexy time” because you’re really “sleepy with no extra time” you need to remember you are sexy. There’s a reason your husband annoys you when you’re standing at the sink washing bottles, again. Why he comes on to you when you crawl into bed in his shirt and your favorite shorts. Why even now when your “new look” is a natural face with your top knot, dirty leggings, and slouchy sweater he still finds himself flirting. Why? Because you’re awesome.
Sure, you’re tired, dirty, busy, and juggling two babies and a seven year old. You’re also keeping the house he comes home to after work looking like a home (a clean one – Monica Gellar would be proud), making sure his babies are taken care of when sometimes that means a week long stay at a hospital or a late night run to Urgent Care, relaunching and rebranding the photography business that you not only love but that provides the income for things like romantic getaways, and you keep choosing him, and only him, again and again.
You are loyal to your husband, no matter what, and that’s not something every wife can say. You have refused to walk away from your marriage even at times there wasn’t a soul in the world would have blamed you. You put your family before yourself, always. If you are laying awake wondering if you’re strong enough or good enough to raise a happy family (as you often do because the women who are good enough always doubt themselves) I want you to remember who you are.
You are the wife to a man you’ve always known was far from perfect but have loved him unconditionally from Day One.
You are the mother to a daughter who deserved so much more than what she had before you walked into her life and refused to be bullied out of it.
You are the mother to two miracles. To two babies who shouldn’t be here, shouldn’t be this healthy, and shouldn’t be this beautiful. Yet, you’re typing this with one spooning your leg at 4:24am because she can’t sleep without touching her mama. The mama who would, and has done, anything for her and her sisters.
You are an entrepreneur who has relaunched and rebranded her photography business from a hospital room, with babies on her lap, and through the frustrated tears of an overwhelmed new mom and it ROCKS! Seriously, you’re awesome.
You’re the kind of woman who raises money for local teachers, donates photography sessions to families with children fighting cancer, and donates what you can to expecting mothers who have less than you.
You’re the kind of friend who takes the time to write pep talks that are so much more than, “I’m here if you need me,” because you know words have the power to lift spirits and save lives.
You’re amazing. You’re selfless even though sometimes you feel selfish, you’re patient even though sometimes you lose your temper, and you are strong even though sometimes you feel weak.
What are you not? Perfect. Which is why crying in the pantry eating Oreos because the babies don’t want you to sleep, Ky needs to get up for school in an hour, and your husband doesn’t understand the kitchen table isn’t a laundry basket doesn’t make you anything but human. So eat those Oreos because when you’re sad the calories don’t count, dry your tears, ignore your to-do list for a minute, and dance with your kids because you are a great mom, a good wife, and someone who needs to remember to love herself as much as her friends and family do.
Love, Victoria Rogers, North Carolina, 26
This love letter is something that I have thought about. I wrote a draft and discarded it since I don’t talk to myself like that. I asked my self “you want a life partner, what do you want him to love about you?” Which in turn brought me full circle to what I love most about myself.
I have found that I love myself for the little things. Those itty bitty things that are often taken for granted. Such as making sure I call my mom to simply hear her voice. Enjoying the process of making my morning french press. Stopping in the middle of the road on an early morning to have my breath taken away by a herd of horses running across a field with the sunrise behind them. Taking note and appreciating those little things about myself has really helped to make me realize that I am special. You are special, we all are special.
So with the note of those random little quirks that I have, I am being gentle with myself. Trying so hard to not analyze a situation or person to death. Guess what? If that guy, or this guy (I am pointing randomly around my living room while typing this) doesn’t like those little things, or the big things that make me, me. Screw ‘Em! I LOVE those little things. The right guy will come along, I know this in my heart. In the meantime I am going to continue to make note of the things that I love myself for.
I love how I can smile at someone who has a frown on their face and have them smile back. How babies stare at me. When I take my dog to the dog park and they all come running over to greet me (part of that may be I’m a cook and have spilled beef stew down my leg). For taking on new projects like trying a new hairstyle, or creating a new recipe. My life is refreshing and simple, it’s good!
Finding confidence in myself by forgiving the little things that hold me back is going to make me unstoppable. I love me, the world loves me and it feels fantastic!
With great love, Paige The Confident, Wyoming, 29
It’s really hard for you to show yourself some love this year. You feel worn out and completely useless. However, you know better than most that feelings can change with the wind and that they aren’t always the best indicators of truth. So this year, tell your feelings to “shut up.”
Let’s look at the facts. You’re very smart so that shouldn’t be difficult. The way you love your husband, daughter, and unborn baby is admirable. No one would look at you and say “Man, if only she loved her family more.” Your love for them is so pure, deep, and sacred that anyone would be lucky to be loved by you.
So go ahead and be a lucky one and cut yourself a break because even you at your very worst are worth loving.
Love, Fatima, 26, North Carolina
Dear Beautiful Self,
You have always been capable of anything you set your mind to, but it was this past year that you really proved that to yourself. I’m so proud of, and in love with, your brave spirit, open mind and constant journey for positive change.
Love, Allie, 25, NYC
I kinda am in love with your decision to make 2015 your boldest year yet. Your pledge to do something thrilling, scary and out-of-the-box each month is an admirable goal. Congrats on surfing in Hawaii and overcoming your fear of large bodies of water! Well done on moderating your first speaker panel! And you still got the boogie in you every Sunday AM in your Beyonce dance class despite the fact that you may be the oldest student.
I wait with baited breath to see what other thrilling fears you decide to step into and conquer.
Always yours, Stephanie, 37, San Francisco
You got this! If there’s one thing you say for sure when you look back on this past year is that you can do anything set your mind to. Yes, it takes hard work. Yes, there’s always stress involved. And yes, it’s not without a little luck and a whole lot of believing in yourself. But, this year, you took the plunge. You got a new apartment, moved to a new neighborhood, transitioned out of your first real job post-college and transitioned into a much better position at a magazine, somewhere you’ve always wanted to be.
You finally have an income you can comfortably live off of…and maybe even save a little bit each month! You’ve also learned to listen to yourself more. What do YOU want? Where do YOU want to be? And it’s definitely paying off. Keep a smile on your face, brush off that negativity (because assholes pushing you around in the subways, rainy days with 40 mph winds, and unreasonably priced pitchers of margaritas are unfortunately inevitable), and lift your head up high because it’s a new year, it’s a new day, and it’s always a new opportunity. I LOVE YOU!
Love, Jenn, 26, NYC
Seriously, I have no idea how you do it. But also, it’s time for you to start cutting yourself some slack.
You say yes to everything that’s thrown at you — there’s no editing job too small, no article assignment you won’t take on, no amount of time you won’t spend on something in order to make that extra dollar; to cover that story, to get to the bottom of something you’re curious about — even when it means asking strangers uncomfortable questions for your crowd-sourced pieces. Remember that time you went on a date with a guy you met off an app for beard enthusiasts, just to make sure you gave your readers the full perspective on what using that app is really like? I mean, damn.
You built yourself this awesome life, and even though you try so hard to be 100% happy while living it, to be fulfilled by all of your accomplishments, lately, you’ve started to feel like it’s not enough. And then you find yourself heading down this spiral of guilt for wanting more — or for wanting someone to share it all with.
Knock it off. (Hey, tough love is still love!)
It’s okay to feel this way, sometimes. You were never one to take things for granted, and most of the time you do a pretty bang up job at appreciating the good things that come your way, when they come your way. So if finding another way to spend your Sunday now that you’re back out there in the dating world has taken much longer than you thought it would, stop beating yourself up about it. I mean, at least now your laundry is getting done every Sunday, am I right? Okay, so that editor didn’t think that a crowd-sourced article on how people’s first threesomes went down was as brilliant of an idea as you did. Pitch it somewhere else, or heck, publish it yourself on your blog! If you’re curious about it, chances are that there’s someone out there who wants to read about it too.
You’re doing a great job at this whole, living life thing — even if it doesn’t always feel like it. So stop picking apart your shortcomings, and keep loving what you’ve got while you’re working towards what you want. Because that’s all you can really do, anyway.
Lots (and lots) of love, Danielle, 26, NYC
Please remember my dear, you are beautiful, not because someone tells you, but because you truly ARE. You have the most compassionate heart, I know. Even when its been your most vulnerable quality and some have taken advantage of it.
Don’t change, you are amazing even when you make mistakes, your still amazing! Be true to yourself!
Thank you, for not letting the bad experiences affect you, or made you bitter. Share that beautiful and creative mind with others, you never know who’ll you’ll inspire.
You are unique and different. And I know you like that. Enjoy this Valentines with the most interesting person I know! Happy Valentine’s day!
Love, Anonymous, NC
My darling friend,
This was not an easy thing for you to do, so instead of struggling endlessly, writing a poem to yourself seemed to come easier:
Broken down for all those years
You had no fight left, only fear
The pain he caused you was
more than you could get through
So you thought…..but you survived.
You are so strong now and he can no longer do damage
Not to your heart—not to your soul
He is no longer in control
Your life is yours now
so live it to the full
Every breath you take is
a sweet escape from the
death he promised you
It is time to take back your life
You are no longer his wife
But a light all your own
Shine bright like I know you can
My future is in the palm of your hands
Close your eyes, picture the day
When all this pain goes away
Look up at the sky, look at the sea
My darling girl, you are free
You see her in front of you
“She’s so beautiful” you say
Strong, courageous, with amazing eyes,
great hair, a kind heart and honest to a fault
You reach out to touch her and realize—
It’s your reflection
Love, Michelle C, NC
Hey Maia my dear,
I love you so much you are my whole heart. I’m glad you are here and that I found you. It’s going to be okay I know life is tough, but you are strong enough. You are the most beautiful person I have ever seen. And you are all mine. Don’t worry I’ll see you soon.
Love, Maia -Laveen, Arizona
How do I love you? Let me count the ways……how can I love you? Well…….looking in the mirror…..
“When I saw you I fell in love, and you smiled because you knew.” Arrigo Boito, Poet.
My mirror is the looking glass of your life and how I feel about you through every episode of each day and every night. Even when things don’t feel quite right, when it all goes wrong…..even when someone doesn’t like you….or when you make mistakes……especially when you snort while you heartily laugh…..remember how many times (sigh) you questioned yourself when others said you couldn’t do it….you weren’t good enough? It seemed perhaps true at the moment, and your tears gushed from your eyes….then you dried them when you looked in the mirror and you knew…..you proved it…..to yourself, over and over and over again with a smile. You are good enough……you are lovely, you are sweet, you are beautiful, creative, and definitely cute! I love you!
“Prove that you love me through a lingering gaze and…that twinkle of adoration in your eyes.” Richelle E. Goodrich, Author.
Love, Sabrina, 52, NC
Where do I begin? The past 26 years have been absolutely amazing. There have been ups and downs but you have surpassed all obstacles that stand in your way. Who would have known that you would have changed from that crazy, party girl to a sophisticated and classy woman? Your face is beautiful. Your eyes linger towards work. Most people want your thick, golden brown hair. Your teeth are perfect with a smile that will light up a room. Your neck sits perfectly on top of your torso. Your arms are strong but are feminine. Did I mention you are strong? Inside and out? Your heart is made out of a sacred gold that only few can touch but never can have. Your torso and breasts are amazing. Your butt is small but perfectly cushions your small body. Your legs are muscular and strong. Your feet are tiny and adorable. What’s not to love if you are in love with yourself? Every part of you is beautiful. Remember that. You can’t love until you fully love yourself. Get rid of your insecurities and enjoy life to the fullest. Give yourself a big hug and dance naked to your favorite song. Keep smiling.
Love your bubbly self, 26, Washington, D.C.
These past 29 years have been quite the journey. You’ve overcome so much, yet still expect so much more from yourself. You never give yourself the time to live in the moment. You never allow yourself to feel without fear. You’ve convinced yourself that you just aren’t meant to be loved in a way that your friends are. You’ve convinced yourself that happiness from a relationship just isn’t happiness you’re going to have.
I am writing to tell you that this has to end. You have to stop, right now. You’re worthy of a relationship, of love, and all of the happiness that comes with it. It can happen. It WILL happen. Your past doesn’t ever dictate your future, and you know that better than anyone else. Stop making yourself sick over all you still have to do and enjoy all you’ve done. This year is your year to release the negative memories that hold you back and finally make space for all of the wonderful things to come. I love you – always remember that.
Love, Michelle Scotto, 29, Newport Beach, California
Dear sweet Julia,
How can I adequately express gratitude to the Universe for all you’ve become and done?! How beautiful to live the life you’re living. Look at you! I am so proud of you for being brave enough to become who you are. It isn’t always easy. It’s a daily practice in acceptance to realize you’re always going to be at least a little chubby and that you’re still allowed to feel sexy as hell!
It take constant, gentle, self-reminding not to sabotage your relationship and to know that you are worth loving and it’s okay to love back. Look at you! You can bake a damn good cake. You can make JULIA CHILD’S BEEF BOURGUIGNON – and it’s good! You can run five miles and hold some nice asanas. You can feel a full range of emotions! You’re going places and doing things and saying YES! You’re smart and witty and adorable and worth knowing. Happy Valentine’s Day. I’m so happy to finally love you just as you are.
Light and love, Julia, 27, NC
Dear You….Yeah, You!
Cheer up! Don’t let life get you down. Know that not everything falls into place just how you imagined it…..and that’s okay. Looking back, I bet you never thought you’d be where you are now. And right now, you are EXACTLY where you’re supposed to be. Finding yourself is not selfish. Finding yourself is necessary. You’re 25….yeah it’s frightening to actually admit that to yourself but you are.
You’ve not been single in your adult life…..until now. And as scary as that is…..it’s also exciting and strangely liberating. So go! Go show life exactly who you are and what you’re made of. Sure some days will be hard and others will be even harder….but you can do it. YOU CAN DO IT. The right path will come, even if you have to take the wrong one first. Stay strong and faithful and obedient to His Word. It won’t be easy but it will be worth it. Travel, date, dance, write, love. And most importantly….be YOU! Because I think you’re pretty damn awesome!
I have never had any problem with loving myself. Ever since I can recall, I have been walking around with my head held high. I was the first child and grandchild and a rather smart kid who could talk before she could walk. So my family adored me. My younger siblings copied me. My friends listened to me.
That all came despite health and learning issues I had to deal with. I had my first eye surgery at the tender age of barely six. It went wrong. So it had to be repeated. As soon as one problem was contained, another popped up. I have a glaucoma. My eye nerve is deteriorating and nobody knows how long I’ll retain my vision. No matter. I hardly think of it at all besides taking eye drops every night, which I’ve made a rut of.
I have been a sporty bookworm. That’s where the contradiction begins. I am well read, currently a teaching fellow at an Economic University in Slovakia’s capital, Bratislava, besides running my own linguistic company I founded in 2007 four hour drive to the East.
I was doing various sports as a kid and I am a crossfitter who ranked third in the open Spartan race in the summer of 2014 out of about 250 women. I also ranked fifth at the Slovak Natural Bikini Fitness Competition in May 2012.
I am a divorced mother of two extraordinarily cool boys aged 13 and 5. My boys stayed living in our house I left after my relationship of 17 years to their father eventually gave demise.
The big goal for 2015 is to purchase a lot and build another house so that my kids and I can be reunited again. My husband won’t surrender the original house, so I decided rather to become homeless than living under one roof with a man whom I’m unable to look up to and respect because his life achievements pale in comparison to mine.
I don’t look my age. Young females consider me one of them. And I’m speaking 25 – 29 age group. Men are instantly attracted to me. Sometimes I have a feeling I am universally appealing, as the youngest male interested in having sex with me was 18 (in November 2014) and the oldest who dared to bring up the subject rather unceremoniously at a business meeting! was 64 two years ago when I was 33.
Despite the fact, I had never been unfaithful to my husband and only after I had moved out of the house I eloped with a new man who acted as if he discovered the love of his life in me only to leave me severely disappointed few months into this new relationship. So I’m out of it.
I have gone through a lot of suffering which transformed me from a young prissy know-it-all to a more mature humble but confident present self.
You hear it all the time: men are the breadwinners, women have enough on their hands to juggle their regular job and a household. In my case, I was the principal breadwinner, cook, cleaner, teacher, scout leader, trip advisor and financier, a lady who would first make money, then do the grocery shopping, cook dinner, check homework, put kids to bed and wipe the floor before having an amazing sex with the waity needy individual watching her from the couch during TV commercials, because I actually love sex and I never ever have any headaches.
How do I do it? I am blessed with an endless stream of energy surging through me. If I ever get tired, I call it a day and sleep. But there are 24 hours in a day. How much fun I am able to pack into all that!
Besides the trauma of having a totally divergent life path from that of my husband which made our divorce inevitable, another thing that saddens me is that I have set the bar so high that I can’t see any man to come even close.
I would love to share my life with an equal. But I love myself too much to employ a trial and error method again. What I’ve noticed in the two failed relationships I had was the men who were drawn to me the most were those who had failed in those very aspects of life I’ve succeeded in the most. But I am no cure for anybody’s bruised ego. I refuse to be the stronger person. I am a woman and if you are familiar with the saying: The like attracts the like, then I tell you: beware! That I am pretty and won’t settle for a guy who’s not handsome is not my superficiality. It’s my craving for an equal. I would like to point to Angelina and Brad if you don’t know what message I’m trying to convey. Look who they had been married to or dated before. Those people were no match for them. Until they found each other.
But then this discovery has to transcend all levels and facets of the other person. Unfortunately, that was not the case with my husband at all (that man was only handsome and we really had a ball in the bedroom) and neither was that the case with my brief lover (the latter was extremely bright, very handsome, rather business savvy, but unable to make the move out of his parents’ house at the age of 30 to prove his “Eureka” confession he made referring to me) /loooong sigh here, you can imagine/.
I guess I’ve been long overdue with wrapping all of the above up.
So I say: if you love yourself like I love myself, you pursue wisdom, because you have love already (Thank God for having my kids, my friends, my great clients, students and my extended family). Love of yourself stems from your achievements, but unconditional love accepts you with your failures. I guess you are the only person who can truly love you unconditionally. It is great if you grew up in an environment who instilled love in you in the first place.
Because I did, I don’t know how would I have fared otherwise. If you love yourself, you don’t need to solicit affirmations from others, that comes of its own right. If you love yourself, you wake up any morning feeling exciting because you know you can prepare a day for yourself and others that would make you feel good at the end of it. If you love yourself, you mostly eat right and sleep well and don’t work too much and connect with people and learn new things and practice them until you feel like a pro outside your work. You participate meaningfully in other people’s lives. You don’t abuse substances, because you would abuse yourself. Such thing is so contrary to your self love that it basically prevents you from it rather effectively.
People can’t abuse you either, because you simply won’t let them. You stand up for yourself like you would for your own mother or child. And you never ever put yourself down. You never say:”I am this always willing to help fool other people take advantage of.” If you love yourself, you know you are not a fool because loving yourself is principally wise. If you love yourself, even God can’t resist and shows Him (yeah, to me it’s Him) to you. So I can’t help but believe in Him because He believes in me. So I must be somebody, after all. Oh, how I LOVE that! -Lucia LG, 35, Slovakia
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