I ran across an intriguing meme and video for International Women’s Day, where a woman wrote a letter to her younger self and encouraged us to do the same.
I have so much that I would like to tell my younger self. Let’s call her Terri-cita, since that’s what my multi-lingual father called me as a tiny tot. My Terri-cita self still lives within me, and she’s usually freaking out about something she can’t control. Terri-cita is all about control, as her little life was pretty dangerous. She never felt safe, and, as a result, all she wants to do now is limit exposure. Since my mission is wrapped around showing up authentically, warts and all, it puts me at odds with her version of safety on a daily basis. So, I decided to try this letter thing. Want to try too? Check it out here.
First of all, I want to tell you how much I love you. I appreciate that you are always looking out for me, trying to keep me safe from harm. I know that you worry about everything, because your little life was ruled by bigger people and scary circumstances. I know you think that other people have the answers to all your questions, so you keep searching for that perfect teacher/guru. But, sweetie, I’m here to tell you, that you have all your own answers.
Life is exactly as simple as you make it.
Just because you were raised in an environment where despair was your constant companion, it doesn’t mean that you need to re-visit every time things don’t go exactly as planned. You have choices now. You are in charge of your own life, and you can choose love. You are not warped by your childhood; you are more sensitive to suffering because of it. You can understand emotional pain better than most people; with this awareness, you can help people move past suffering to love.
Because in the end, love is the only thing that matters.
You can choose to move into the light and away from the shadows of the past. If you can stop scurrying for shelter long enough to look around at your actual life, you will see more beauty and love than you thought was possible. You will recognize that you are safe in this moment, and you are in control of your own thoughts and actions. You are enough, and you have enough, right now. You don’t need to change a thing to walk a path of hope.
If you can stop seeing everyone as a potential predator, you can look into their heart. You can see the beauty of connection and how relying on other people and asking for help is a good idea. That doesn’t mean that you won’t get hurt sometimes, but you are strong. You are filled with Girl Power, and ultimately, no one can really hurt you; because you are in charge of your own pain. Pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional.
And one more thing, I highly recommend you relax a little. Your thighs are fine. You have a big butt, I cannot lie — so what! The girls you’re coaching don’t care about your body fat percentage; they are only interested in your capacity to understand them. You are so much more than the sum of your parts. You are love incarnate; so, don’t forget it!
P.S. Go give your mom a hug; she really needs one!
I encourage you all to sit down and write a letter to your younger self from the vantage point of your current, wiser self. It will give you a different perspective on your life. It will bring you a heightened level of gratitude for what you have. If you should feel so inspired, I would love to read part, or all, of what you wrote, so please send them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org Write on, lionesses!