On this Valentine’s Day eve, I’m going to share a big secret with you: I write love letters. They’re to someone other than my husband, Bruce.
I write them frequently too. Usually once a month, but several times a month if I’m asked. And sometimes, when the spirit moves me, I write them and leave them places. In those annoying pockets on an airplane. In restaurants. In a dressing room. In a magazine I abandon at the airport. In a hotel lobby. Sometimes even at work. And I always have some sort of notecard or paper plus my trusty assortment of Sharpies on hand for emergencies. Shhh. Please don’t tell or you’ll blow my cover.
You see, I’m a secret (love letter) agent. I enlisted back in September during a typical dining al desko lunch break. I watched a TED talk featuring a woman named Hannah Brencher. She founded an organization of love letter writers called moreloveletters.com. So I joined it.
Once a month, Hannah’s team asks me (and scores of other people all over the globe) to share words of love, hope, support, friendship, inspiration, motivation, and care with people we don’t even know and will never meet.
Here’s what Hannah says about her organization:
“We’re going to tell you that we write and mail love letters, handwritten love letters, to strangers in need all over the world. We’re going to invite you to request a love letter for someone in your life who needs one. And we’re going to insist that you step out of your own shoes of Comfort & join us. You are going to think we are a bit crazy. A tad loopy. But you’ve been looking for a website that leaks love all this time… so we aren’t worried you’ll leave us.”
You’ll probably want to check out moreloveletters.com on your own if you want more details. No point in cutting and pasting their content here.
I’d like to say I’m not in this for myself and that my heart is completely pure and selfless while I write. But it’s not. What I really liked about joining moreloveletters.com was that it was an easy way to take a few minutes out of my busy month and do something nice for someone who really needs to a boost.
Selfishly, I usually write the love letters during lunch at work when my day is going particularly wonky and I need to remind myself of what’s really important. On those days when I need to breathe. When I need to think and not speak.
Perhaps if I was a smoker, I’d take a smoke break. Instead, it’s a writing break. Taking those few minutes to pen some encouraging words and tell someone that they matter and that things will get better for them, makes me feel better too.
Writing the letters has also made me more aware of the power of the pen. Of course, people can write terrible, hateful things. Things that they’d never in a million years say to that person’s face. But you can also write wonderful things. Loving things. Hopeful things. Uplifting things. Joyful things. Comforting things.
So on this Valentine’s Day eve, I ask you to do one thing for me tomorrow. You love birds might not have a lot of time, but do it anyway. Even if your heart is hard because romance hasn’t gone your way lately, go about your day with love.
When you pick up your morning coffee, thank your barista with a smile.
Greet your coworkers like you’d want to be greeted by them.
Hug your kids and furry family members extra tight.
And on this silly Hallmark holiday, maybe consider leaving a little anonymous note where someone who really needs a boost can find it. You’d make someone’s day. And yours too.
PS: Please don’t worry about Bruce. He will get a real “from the wife” Valentine love note sometime tomorrow even though he hates this made up event. Remember, I like writing.