Rosemary Donahue
June 01, 2016 10:10 am
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There is a saying that most of us are familiar with, and that saying is “seeing is believing.” I am a firm believer in this sentiment — while I often think with my heart and am, for the most part, trusting, I’m also a person who gets discouraged and sometimes needs a little push. Thus, when times get hard and it’s difficult to believe in myself, I have a little trick up my sleeve. That trick is this: I leave little notes around my house and on my desk to reassure myself that if things aren’t currently good, they will be, soon. In fact, I’m staring at a few of those notes at my desk right now.

I started this practice when I was in high school but mostly abandoned it until about a year ago when I started following my friend Kara Haupt on Instagram. She uses the hashtag #karawroteherselfanote to post photos of notes she writes herself (duh!) either by hand, with paint, or with a label maker that remind her to do things, be her best self, ask her questions, or tell her just to simply, y’know, build her empire.

I was inspired by this, and decided to start the practice again. My partner and I started leaving notes around the apartment, to encourage both each other and ourselves. The notes said things like, “You are strong,” “You are special,” “You’re funnier than I am,” and “You are a great listener.”

I also started writing notes again just for myself — while the notes we wrote each other were also for ourselves, I often have things I want to tell myself that he doesn’t necessarily need to hear, including this one, which I wrote for myself the night before a therapy appointment that didn’t go well…

…and this one, which I wrote for myself today, just because.

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In restarting this practice, I’ve remembered how important it used to be. It’s like leaving a note from a past version of myself — sometimes, this past version has wisdom or strength that the future me just simply doesn’t have, and these notes serve as little reminders that I’ve felt better before and will feel good again. It’s something that takes one second but can have a lasting impact — plus, it’s a cheap way to decorate.

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