Writing love letters to strangers came out of a need, a desire, a want to connect with others, to generate the love for myself that I believed I needed to get from others in order to feel “good”.
It took me a few months of mulling it over to take action. I knew I had to, especially since my readers and clients clamored for the same answers.
One day, when I felt particularly blue and lonely, I decided I had to do something. I searched the internet far and wide, read a few books, and consulted with friends.
When nothing popped out at me, I meditated and then went for a long walk in nature – Burnaby, BC’s Central Park. While on this walk, it occurred to me – like a bolt from the sky – that I had to give away what I needed, wanted, yearned for the most.
But, How Could I Give Away Love?
As I’m a writer, and a prolific one at that, it seemed an easy, simplistic, almost silly answer: write love letters. Every single one that I ever wanted, dreamed of, hoped to receive – write it myself. Then, give it to a stranger.
Thus, Writing Love Letters to Strangers Was Born
I decided to share this practice with a Meetup group I help organize (Extremely Shy Looking for Friends).
That first night, more than 30 people showed up at various times to draw, color, sticker, create, visualize, sing, dance and even get down on one knee to share their love. (No, it wasn’t a proposal, and yes, it was incredibly sweet).
Once we had a few hundred finished – all using donated paper, pens, felts and stickers – we walked out onto the Granville Street strip in downtown Vancouver and handed them out.
What Happened When We Handed Out Love Letters To Strangers?
Different people had different experiences. I, initially, was quite scared to approach a stranger. What if they laughed? Judged? Got angry? Thought I was telling them I loved them?
Well, that’s the point, I reminded myself.
One young man with a backpack and scraggly look to him that I recognized as a long-term traveler, stopped me and begged for directions. I pointed out his hostel a few feet in front of him, handed him a love letter, and walked away.
A few seconds later, behind me, the man cried out, “You mean, you love me?!”
I nodded, thinking to myself, “Yes, I can love you. Yes, I do. I feel your frustration and fear, your impending tears and relief”.
Like a 5-year-old boy peeking out from behind a playground, he asked, “Can I have a hug?”
We hugged. We cried. Then I went on my way.
Even More Love Flowed…. Or Perhaps Appreciation
Later, I came across a table of four unbelievably attractive men. I had almost no love letters left, and I immediately thought, “That homeless woman with the bursting colostomy bag over there needs these more, I’ll forgo these guys and give them to her”. Of course, this wasn’t compassion talking, this was my own fear. I’d judged myself, and forgotten to love myself… and so these gents set me straight.
One of them says to me, loudly, “Hey! Don’t we get one?”
I pause, look each one in the eye as I hand them a love letter and say, “Here you go, a love letter from a stranger“. I walk away, towards the homeless woman.
The most beautiful of the four guys grabs my arm before I can leave. “And… so where’s your number?”
How Do You Write Love Letters To Strangers?
Every time I create a love letter now – and they really are creations – I pour everything I have, I want, and I feel into each letter. They’re all unique and very personal, usually quite colorful. Different people create their own love letters in different ways; I now imagine someone, even another stranger walking by, and write something for them. Or, I write whatever I need to hear. Or, I write whatever I think someone else might need to hear. Or, I write a love letter to someone long gone, lost, or I don’t even know.
Basically, I just write.
If you’ve received a love letter from a stranger and came to this site to get the story as to why, who and how, I hope this page explains it.
I also hope that you pass along the letter you received to someone else who might need it, or someone else you want to share your love with. Even posting it on social media can change someone’s life – I just ask that you tag it with this website, or the hashtag #bonnyadventures, so that others can also read this story, and possibly feel inspired to share some love in turn.
What did I learn from this experiment? Lots.
- Whenever I need love, I can create it effortlessly;
- If I’m feeling anything other than love, just write a love letter;
- When I give love, I get it back;
- When I give love, I feel loved, loving and lovable;
- I am love.
Namaste, and thank you.