I posted the following on a now-defunct site so am now re-posting here on my home site.
Recently we talked about breathing: inhaling and exhaling.
But what happens if you're afraid to let go, to fully exhale? what happens if you don't trust that you'll be able to survive without the armor or tension you've developed? In this case it's important to begin to develop a relationship with yourself. It's impossible to trust someone you don't know. You must become your own best friend, the person you'd turn to for advice, appreciation, counsel. Do for yourself the things you would do for someone you love. Listen to yourself; show up for yourself. Because in fact the person you can trust the most, not only in any healing process you may be going through but in life in general, is you. So you need to find out who you are and how deeply you can rely on yourself.
Take the time to write a love letter to yourself. This is an exercise I do regularly with my clients. It involves sitting down and handwriting a letter to yourself, about yourself, in which you acknowledge those qualities that are wonderful and special. This is not as easy as it seems. Most people have trouble getting over the fear of being narcissistic or unworthy. You want to write to yourself the way you would to someone you love deeply---a child, a parent, a partner. Then put the letter in an envelope, address it to yourself and mail it. Snail mail; no computers either in writing or mailing. When you receive it in a few days you will be stunned at the impact those words of love and appreciation have on you. This is experiential; you won't get the same benefit just by reading about it here---go do it!