Why I write love letters to myself

message-in-a-bottle

 

“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.“
– Buddha

I love someone. Deeply. With all that I am and all that I will ever be.

I do not know this person. I have never met her. I have no idea what she looks like or how she speaks or walks or where she works or what her favorite color is, but I love her. Deeply.

I sometimes write her letters to express the love and passion and desire that I have for her.

I do this for several reasons;

  1. It helps me to learn how to love her better:
    Writing allows me the opportunity to “review” my intentions. I can look over what I’ve written and see both my strengths and weaknesses.
  2. It helps clarify those things I need to do for myself:
    In reviewing them I see, in black and white, not only those things that I need to do for her, but, since our partners serve as mirrors for ourselves, those things that I should be doing for myself in order to be more prepared to love her unconditionally by loving myself first.
  3. Because the desire to “be loved” is as important as the desire “to love”:
    Desire, though detrimental to living, is a requirement of love. It is only through embracing my desire “for love” that I learn “to love” completely and unconditionally.
  4. Because passion requires an outlet or it will whither and die:
    Passion like any other emotion, is not just something we feel, it is something we express. In writing these letters I learn how to more fully express my passion and that passion, one of intimate love, carries into everything I do.
  5. How I love the person I am with, love being an action and not a feeling, affects all of my relationships from friends to family to the cashier at the coffee shop.

We have all been around people who exude that glow of fresh love. We have all basked in the heat of their passion. Been lifted by the energy of their desire. We have all basked in it.

I love that feeling and I want others to feel it. To benefit from it. I want people to smile without knowing why they are smiling when I am near.

Does it make me a little insane that I want to feel this way even though I am alone? Maybe.

One thing we can all agree on is that love, at least according to my interpretation of mental illness as defined by the Canadian Mental Health Association  as those things “…that affect the way we think about ourselves, relate to others, and interact with the world around us”, is madness.

I accept said madness because it is my hope that in writing these letters, like messages in bottles, to my unknown beloved that she will hear my call, and that in preparing myself I will be ready when she arrives.

 

 


 

Note: I decided against submitting this article for publication several months ago because, honestly, I don’t believe I’m qualified to write self-help articles, especially when they focus on the unusual sort of help I offer myself, but mostly because I lost faith that “she” would ever hear my call. I post it now because it turns out she may have been listening for me all along.

on the shore of dreams (2010)

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on the shore of dreams
SATURDAY, 27. FEBRUARY 2010, 17:57:36

 

morning
the color of mist
breaks through my window
and casts a single shadow

alone
through the night
I wake with you beside
and watch you fade away

a smile
faint and dark
as the hope I keep inside
that all around is just a dream

reminders
of distant pasts
on empty shores

and memories
bright as daylight

bring me to your arms
as I drift again
to sleep

 

Footsteps at my door

man-walking-away-1-big2

I was awoken last night
From the deepest of sleep
Devoid of dream
By a strong feminine presence

I heard
With ears sharpened by the dullness of slumber
The softest of footsteps outside my door

Light and lithe yet hesitant with uncertainty
She stopped at my door and waited, listening
As I listened and waited

Her raised hand lingered and lowered, lingered and lowered
As if arguing the rationality of knocking on a sleeping mans door
With the most irrational of senses

She turned to leave
Stepped back
Hesitated slightly
Then gave in to the rational and left more quickly

As a reward for giving in to her fears, she silently tripped on the mudflap I leave leaned against the pallets that are my porch to prevent the dogs leash from becoming entangled

(“If I were to move it” I ask myself now “to a more welcome position, would it then only provide further entanglement?” And so decide to leave it alone)

She hurriedly straightened it in a form
(I discovered this morning)
More apt to trip and to catch up the dog

(Which evidence I now offer
As proof of her arrival)

Then quietly as she arrived
she disappeared

Moments later I heard a car door close stealthily in the distance
As if that argument continued into the darkness that finally drove her home

Yet for an hour or so after she’d gone
I could still feel her presence

A gentle reminder
That I am alone