A Love Letter to Myself
When was the last time you wrote a letter to yourself? As a teenager and young adult, I think did this relatively often. It was a way to process and reflect, even if these letters were more journal entries than true letters. It had been a long time since I'd take the opportunity to think of what I might say to a future version of my self. I've written journal entries before trips about my hopes and dreams for the journey but never a message specifically meant to be re-read, by me – at some point in the future. But last spring, I was invited to do just that. To write a letter to myself.
The letter has sat on my desk, tucked into my journal for all these months. It has moved from one pile to the other when I've tidied up, but has always been there – for just the right time. Today felt like that time. To open it. To read it.
As I read the message that I wrote – carefully trying to keep my handwriting legible (something that I struggle with) – I realized it was the perfect way to recognize the passing of one year and beginning of another. And that this simple act of writing a letter to myself – and reading it when the moment seemed right – was like gifting myself with a bonus dose of everyday wellness. It almost felt like a love letter – to myself...which sounds strange and fabulous all at the same time.
I am heading out on a new adventure at the end of this week – to try to learn to do something that I've dreamt of doing but suspect will be challenging in more ways than one. I look forward to not just remembering the message of this note to myself – but also – to writing myself a new letter at the end of the adventure. To commemorate the experience. To raise my awareness and acknowledge all that was and is. The more I think about it, I realize that this is a lovely way to start or end any new travel adventure (or life moment). More than a journal entry the act of thinking of a message to convey – to yourself – is like creating a time capsule of exactly how you are feeling in that singular moment.
But for now, I offer you my letter to myself. In the hope that maybe it inspires you to write yourself a message.
This is your time. To believe. To trust. To laugh. To be proud. To love. To be well. To feel.
Remember that your path is one of strength flowing through your veins, from your head to your toes. Your strength shows in your movement, your breath, your actions and your words. Use this strength everyday. Nurture it. Be kind to it. Love it. Trust that you can lean on it when you need to and believe in it as the foundation for what makes you you.
The path will not always be easy. Or linear. There will be tears. Fear. Disappointment and maybe even heartache. You will need others along the way – even if you think you can go it alone. Say “Yes.” Say “Thank you.” Do not rush through these feelings. Acknowlegdge them. Learn from them. Appreciate that your journey is meant to be curvy.
You are a mom. A wife. A daughter. A sister. An aunt. A niece. A survivor. A writer. A teacher. A coach. A strategist. A runner. A hiker. A yogini. None of these individually have the power to define you, but each are a part of you. Treat each role with the respect it deserves but without preference or bias.
Listen to your heart beat. Remember the feeling and be kind to yourself. For every sharp turn in the path, there is a reason. Listen. Do no judge. Breathe. Feel. Allow yourself to just “be.” Honor your inner strength even when you feel weak.
Follow your dreams because will guide you. Follow your heart because it will protect you. Follow your breath because it knows the way.
*This post was previously published on LiveDoGrow.com