Ah… The almost-lost art of writing letters. It seems to be an art that is waning. We now have email, text, zoom, video chats, and social media of all sorts to stay in touch with others. We write letters by hand less and less. But yet, these letters have value.
Handwritten letters are wonderful tools of communication with others. We can also use this tool as a form of communication with ourselves. While attached to our bodies, not all of us can say for sure that they completely know, understand, and accept their bodies. It’s challenging to do, but we each must learn how to understand and befriend our bodies if we want to exercise self-caring and self-compassion.
As we continue to focus on self-caring and learning to recognize ourselves, let’s use the art of writing letters to gain a deeper sense of self-compassion. Let’s do a simple, yet powerful, exercise of letter writing. This could take a few hours or a couple of days, your choice. Just make sure you have time and space to complete the exercise.
Telling it like it is
Step 1. Gather your supplies. You’ll need some paper and a pencil or pen. You’ll also need a quiet and cozy place to sit and write.
Step 2. Select a part of your body that you often ignore or think negative thoughts about. Write an actual letter to that body part. Tell it everything: how you feel toward it and what you think about it. (My letter was to my legs, and it started with, “Dear Legs, I have something I need to say to you…”) Sign your letter exactly like how you would sign that letter if you wrote it to a person.
Step 3. Now, take a deep breath and put your letter somewhere safe. You’ll come back to it soon. Just know that you have said your piece. Don’t move on to step 4 until you have completed this step.
Step 4. In a quiet place, sit and read your letter aloud to your body part.
Step 5. Once you have read your letter aloud, use your Non-Dominant hand and answer the letter as though it were coming from your body part to you. (I’m right-handed, so I used my left hand to write a letter back to me from my legs.) Have that body part tell you what it “feels and thinks and needs.”
Step 6. Don’t stop writing until your body part is done speaking. Read the response aloud, and then listen to what your body part has to say.
Understanding and Befriending Our Bodies
Understanding and befriending our bodies aren’t always easy. We may face a lot more challenges as we live our lives daily. We may feel tired of it and think we should just stop, yet we don’t. It may be daunting, but we are strong and we are not alone. Together, we can learn how to understand and befriend our bodies more because anything is possible with Lipedema.