A year ago (yesterday, 1/23/16), I wrote a letter to myself and gave it to Patrick with instructions. I told him to give it to me whenever I seemed like I was struggling or in need of some self-wisdom. He decided to give it to me yesterday, a year after I had written it.
Lately I’ve been feeling really good. I’ve been working to keep my anger and genuine grief from politics at bay and channel that into something more productive. Nonetheless, this letter just spoke to me. Almost as if I had known I would need it a year ago. So without further adieu, my note to self:
Hi Juliana, let’s have a chat. It feels a little strange to write to my future self. At this point in time, from where I sit on my bed, I have no idea of what will happen between now and when you read this letter. Lots of wild things can happen – some good, some bad.
What I can tell you, Juliana, what I can beg you to do is run. Wholeheartedly, unapologetically, dauntlessly into the light.
Stop running away. Please stop doubting yourself.
Truth be told, some people may think you’ve got yourself all figured out. In reality we know that’s just not true. you’ve got a lot to work on. you’ve got a can of worms (terror, insecurity, judgments) that can be so easily opened.
Juliana, please be gentle with yourself. You’ve got an incredible heart and soul that absolutely do deserve love. you have a love that you so desperately want to share.
Where do we stand with that, by the way?
Good? Bad? What’s up? Regardless of the answer, Ju, life is a beautiful place.
you know this. you know because you’ve been moved to tears by the sunshine on your face. You know because you’ve seen and felt pain. You know because you’re here. Alive and kicking.
I really don’t know what to tell you. Love those around you as much as you can. That can hurt sometimes. To be honest I haven’t figured out why. I do know, however, that it’s always worth it.
Push yourself, first, and others to be courageous in all things. Fight for the truth and the light.
Allow yourself to feel what you need to feel. give yourself that grace.
If you’re sad, Juliana, be sad. But you can’t live there. You can’t make room in your heart for it to stay. If you’re going to clear out luggage in there, it better be to make room for patience and trust and heart. Please let it be for that.
If you’re angry, Juliana, let it go. That is all. Hate is heavy. Anger is painful. End of story.
If you’re overjoyed, Juliana, jump and sing and dance and share. Always your cup runneth over. Give some away – that’ll fill you up even more.
If you’re scared, Juliana, good. Keep doing what you’re doing. Put it on the line. Fear can build you. Let that happen. Your life is not a tower with no doors. It’s a room with no walls, no doors, no windows and yet there’s so much overwhelming light.
Go. Do. Move. Live. Love. Risk. Give. Fix. Break. Hide. Celebrate.
What’s cool is that there’s no real wrong or right way to do this whole life thing, Juliana.
you’re totally allowed to “mess up”. What a beautifully flawed life this is.
you don’t have to get it right, Juliana. You just have to give it your all.
Love love love love,