I’ve written this letter a few times, in different ways.
And after 6 years of doing some very honest, at times grueling, “maybe it’s not worth it,” work, I can say these things to myself and not fear the fallout.
I no longer care who thinks I’m making things up. I no longer second guess my perceptions. I no longer apologize for my emotions, for my time, for my willingness to love extravagantly and extend mercy. I refuse to let dogma or religiosity fill me when that hole of “not enoughness” or “shame” tries to rob me of my serenity. I am only responsible for me. I am the only one who can complete me.
No other person.
No stamp in my passport.
No route climbed.
No illusion of busy-ness.
Maybe this is what confession was supposed to look like?
I pledge allegiance to, me.
At the end of the day, it is all 27-and-a-half years of me, bound up in one body. In this machine of a body, this powerhouse that runs marathons and skis black diamonds; in this body that fights for true love.
It’s me at the end of the day. This chick comes first. So, without further adieu:
You are the sun, the moon, and all my stars.
You look in the mirror and quickly look away.
I see you.
I’m staring right back at you.
Your blue eyes, and my blue eyes. The same blue eyes.
Your accomplishments even at this age are impressive.
And the emptiness you feel in light of them is equally as impressive.
You are impressive.
You are also not happy. And I see even now at your young, virginal youth that there is stress marked on your skin. Some lines will never fade. There is a bulge in your stomach that holds shame and abandonment. It feeds itself. Shame and fear cycles, feeding your sore tummy. Making it hard to eat and hard to say no. Constant war between comfort and control.
But you are also wise. When you speak, they listen. I know that you know that they listen; you are noticed, and you blush; you look away, you deflect. You minimize. “That wasn’t me,” you say. “I had help,” you lie.
To be seen would be to break the cardinal rule of your survival.
To be seen would make you a target.
Oh Sun, shine! Let yourself be seen. You will not hurt yourself. You cannot be injured here.
Because even though you don’t know it yet, you are making a home. You are making comfort for the four-year-old pushed into a corner. You are building a house for the third grader who sat alone at the lunch table. You are growing stronger and loving deeper so that you can show love to the unlovable. The ones who have deemed themselves worthless. You. You will love yourself.
You are making a home for your worth.
At this moment you are paralyzed by the thought of stepping into a yoga class. Guess what? In 9 years you will fearlessly put your mat down in the front row. Not because of your agility. Not because of your familiarity. Not because you can hold crow pose, because you can; But you will lay down that mat and show up to that practice because you are at home with your breath; your body; You.
You, my moon, will no longer hold resentments. I cannot tell you when that will be or how that will feel because even 27-year-old you are still letting go of what was done. 27-year-old you is still searching, fearlessly. 27-year-old you is taking inventory. Oh, is she taking stock.
Inventory of self.
Inventory of family.
Inventory of men.
What has been done. What you have done. What was inherited? What was spoken? What was unspoken? How you handled it. Your triggers. The validity in all of those perceptions and realities. Remember, nonverbal communication is just as powerful as screaming.
And you have yet to make amends. Let go of that for one moment as you sit in your 18-year-old body. You are not 40. If you were, you would be doing quite well, but for 18, slow down.
Don’t be too quick to envision a future with the first boy, or the second, or the third, or the one you are with now, entering the second half of 27. Slow down.
Even if he’s your tribe. Slow Down.
Young one, who isn’t so young, whose eyes show trauma and knowledge far beyond your years, young one stay young a little longer. and Play.
You’ve done well, enchantment. My glimmer of hope. Your curls will still bounce in 9 years. You will be stronger emotionally, physically; You are starting to show up for yourself even now.
And you will put a stop to the generations of addiction, rage, abuse, and torment. This ends with you. Fear not, they will not be harmed.
Your 27-year-old self-knows that you will be a fantastic mother, because look at how much you care about this world. Look at the parenting you’re already doing. Look at the parent you know is your true parent.
Let the waves crash over you, and believe that you will not drown.
I’m proud of you and all of your stars.
With endless love, endless appreciation, and endless hope,