If Love Wrote You A Letter, What Would It Say?

Written by
Erin Roberts
Published on
February 13, 2024
macro photo of brown ovale leaf plant

Image Credit:  

Ileana Skakun

“The very centre of your heart is where life begins. The most beautiful place on Earth.”


The other day love wrote me a letter. What did it say you ask? Well, that’s for me to know and you to wonder because I need to keep a few things for myself, Dear Reader.  What I can say is this: it was beautiful but heartbreaking. Uplifting but also a little sad. Joyful but also jarring. Because it reminded me of all the ways I haven’t always been good to myself. I can’t take credit for any of the profound messages in the letter because it didn’t come from me, but rather through me. I was holding the pen, or in this case typing what came to me, but I was certainly not the author of the letter Love wrote me. Love was. Or whatever else you might choose to call it. The point is that it came from something bigger than me but also from something that lives inside of me and which is, at the most basic level, who I truly am.

Asking Love to write me a letter wasn’t my idea. It’s one I borrowed from Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat Pray Love, Big Magic, among many other books (which I highly recommend reading). The other day I was listening to an episode of one of my favourite podcasts We Can Do Hard Things which featured Gilbert talking about her latest project: Letters From Love. The idea is quite simply to sit down every day and write yourself a letter from Unconditional Love. To ask Love, “what do I need to hear today? What would you have me know?” And then to write down what comes using whatever method feels right (pen on paper or fingers clacking away on a keyboard as I choose to do). You can find many examples of what that leads to on the Letters From Love site. Since that initial letter I’ve written a few more, often at the start of the day, to remind me that no matter what happens today, I am loved. And I am also Love.

“Love yourself first, and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.”

Lucille Ball

Why am I telling you this and what does it have to do with wellbeing? Well, in a word: everything. Love has everything to do with wellbeing. Because in our journey to wellbeing we are going to have to choose ourselves over and over and over again. And then get up tomorrow and do it all again and the day after that and so on. Each day is filled with dozens if not hundreds of moments, opportunities to choose ourselves, or not. As I wrote about last month, it won’t always be easy. In fact, it might be really, really hard in the beginning. It might feel like pushing a boulder up the proverbial mountain… Because society has conditioned us to grind. To believe that there is a prize for the person who works the hardest, achieves the most.

I can promise you two things, Dear Reader. Two things that I know to be true.  

The first is that there is no prize for overwork and overwhelm other than a broken body and a messed-up mind. Sorry, but also not sorry to have to tell you this. You need to hear it and you need to let it sink in. You don’t have to grind to make change in the world. There are better ways. Ways that include working less and doing more. And there’s science to back up that claim. Empirical research by some of the most acclaimed academic institutions on planet Earth! I included a few papers in my last blog and you can go back to look at some of it for further reading and to draw on if you get pushback from your institutions. That will take courage which is the theme we’ll explore next month.

The second thing I promise you is that it’s so worth it to push back on that conditioning, to rebel against a society that wants you to grind and to say, “No, I’m gonna take care of my body, mind and soul.” To listen to the wisdom of our bodies. Because the truth is that sometimes when we say yes to others we betray ourselves. And over time those little “yeses” can add up to a great deal of damage. We might wake up one morning and not recognise who we are anymore because we’ve buried our own wants and needs for so very long. None of that is okay. You deserve to come first in your life. A big part of the journey to wellbeing is learning to set healthy boundaries, and for that, self-love is critical. As is courage which as I mentioned above, is the theme we’ll explore next month.

“Talk to yourself like you would talk to someone you love.”

Brené Brown

To be completely transparent, I myself am not completely on the other side of that. I have to be really honest about that. I am still really struggling. Because I too have been conditioned to want to grind. I’m an overachiever like many, if not all of you, reading this. And full disclosure: I’m writing this blog in my pajamas. I didn’t make it to the gym this morning because writing these blogs for you sets my soul on fire and I couldn’t wait to start. I don’t have many mornings like this where I can just write. That said, before I got on my writing chair I spent a little time on my meditation cushion, did a little yoga and some breathwork. So, I feel like I’m winning. Winning in my pajamas, but still winning. And that’s okay. Maybe it’s even perfect.

“To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance.”

Oscar Wilde

One final thing I can tell you for sure is that while we’re all on this journey together, you will ultimately have to figure out what works best for you. Because at the end of the day we all have to forge our own path. We all have to figure out what the next right step looks like and then take it.

We can draw on the wisdom of others and exchange lessons learned (you know we love to talk about that), share tools and so on, but at the end of the day change is an inside job. The work of our lives is to learn to love ourselves and then to sustain and grow that love. The more we do that, the better we will be at everything we do. We’ll be better partners and parents and leaders and change makers. And while that is important, we are worthy of love just because we exist. We don’t have to earn it.

“Your heart knows the way. Run in that direction.”


I haven’t provided any tips here because there are plenty out there and you can find a few resources below and many more on the world wide web among other spaces and places. What is working for me is a combination of many things: meditation, mindfulness, breathwork, reading, going to workshops and taking courses on spirituality and personal development, spending time in nature and other things that bring me joy and remind me that I am Love. Writing myself a letter from Love has also been profound. I’ve done it a few times now and each time it surprises me what that letter says. It’s a practice I highly recommend.

I encourage you to start. Start where you are. But do start if you’re not on this journey already. Start by knowing that you are loved and you are Love. Even if you don’t yet feel it in your bones. Know that you deserve a life well lived. A life full of love, joy, connection, abundance and so many more good things. And, you, Dear Reader, deserve wellbeing. But to get there you’re gonna have to choose yourself. So why not choose to ask Love what you need to know today and see what it tells you?

Erin Roberts is the founder and convener of the Climate Leadership Initiative. She is passionate about making change in the world and empowering young climate leaders from the Global South to do the same. She is on a journey to wellbeing this year and hopes you’ll join her in cultivating a thriving community of change makers.

This blog was originally posted on the website of the Loss and Damage Collaboration. You can find it here


Further reading:

Ackerman, C. (2018). What Is Self-Compassion and What Is Self-Love? Positive Psychology (26 April 2023) [online] Available at: https://positivepsychology.com/self-compassion-self-love/.

Amodeo, J. (2015). What It Really Means to Love Yourself Psychology Today (17 October 2015) [online] Available at: https://www.psychologytoday.com/gb/blog/intimacy-path-toward-spirituality/201510/what-it-really-means-love-yourself.

Beck, M. (2016). Diana, Herself: An Allegory of Awakening. London: Cynosure Publishing, LLC. Find it here: https://uk.bookshop.org/p/books/diana-herself-an-allegory-of-awakening-martha-beck/3094717?ean=9781944264031.

Brach, T. (2020). Radical Compassion: Learning to Love Yourself and Your World with the Practice of RAIN. London: Ebury Publishing. Find it here: https://uk.bookshop.org/p/books/radical-compassion-learning-to-love-yourself-and-your-world-with-the-practice-of-rain-tara-brach/2353225?ean=9781846045660.

Brown, B. (2022). The Gifts of Imperfection. London: Hazelden Information & Educational Services. Find it here: https://uk.bookshop.org/p/books/the-gifts-of-imperfection-10th-anniversary-edition-features-a-new-foreword-and-brand-new-tools-brene-brown/6584166?ean=9781616499600.

Cooks-Campbell, A. (2024). What self really means and ways to cultivate it BetterUp (5 January 2024) [online] Available at: https://www.betterup.com/blog/self-love.

Doyle, G. (2020). Untamed: Stop pleasing, Start living. London: Ebury Publishing. Find it here: https://uk.bookshop.org/p/books/untamed-stop-pleasing-start-living-the-no-1-sunday-times-bestseller-glennon-doyle/3463827?ean=9781785043352.

Hay, L. (1984). You Can Heal Your Life. London: Hay House Inc. Find it here: https://uk.bookshop.org/p/books/you-can-heal-your-life-louise-hay/2980720?ean=9780937611012.

King, V. (2018). Good Vibes, Good Live: How Self-Love Is the Key to Unlocking Your Greatness. London: Hay House UK Ltd. Find it here: https://uk.bookshop.org/p/books/good-vibes-good-life-how-self-love-is-the-key-to-unlocking-your-greatness-the-1-sunday-times-bestseller-vex-king/1510663?ean=9781788171823.

Smith, A. et al. (2022). You Can Change Your Life by Loving Yourself Mindful (30 November 2022) [online] Available at: https://www.mindful.org/you-can-change-your-life-by-loving-yourself/.

Team Calm (2023). How to love yourself: 7 ways to cultivate self-love Calm (4 December 2023) [online] Available at: https://www.calm.com/blog/how-to-love-yourself.

Tolle, E. (2003). Stillness Speaks: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment. London: Hodder & Stoughton. Find it here: https://uk.bookshop.org/p/books/stillness-speaks-eckhart-tolle/3288936?ean=9780340829745