22 January 2014

Letters Challenge: To Myself When I Was Young and Vulnerable



Letters are among the most significant memorial a person can leave behind them. 
~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Beginning in January, I am participating in the One Page a Day Challenge.  Hopefully by the end of the year, I'll have 365 pages worth editing.


S
now. I remember wishing, hoping, thinking, praying, and dreaming of snow.  Not just any old snow.  Snow the amount and depth that gave Laura Ingalls Wilder cabin fever!  Sure it was fun to play in it and build snowmen.  But mostly I prayed for snow so I didn’t have to go to school.

Now I pray for enough snow to cause my office to shut down.

Either that, or no snow at all.  Like the true Virginian I am, I am terrified of driving in icy conditions.  And that’s usually what happens here in the Old Dominion.  Ice underneath snow causes vehicles to spin and flip over.

Snow also causes one to slow down, enjoy a pot of tea, and reflect.

And reflection, I have done.  My pen has been scritch-scratching away ~ in my journal, in letters to friends, and in my Ten Letters in Ten Days challenge.  As promised, here is the first one ~ the letter to my past self.

To Me When I Was Young, Naïve, and  unwisely Vulnerable
Dear Me,

Sorry to scare you with that whooshing sound.  That’s just the sound the Tardis makes when she’s coming in for a landing (appearing?) 

You may very well think I’m crazy, but it’s me.  Or rather, you – only older.  And hopefully wiser, although the jury is still out on that.
Image credit: Google Images

My first thought in writing to you, er, me, was to warn you about some things that will happen: heartaches, betrayals, the emotional and mental health issues of loved ones.  The misuse of hard-earned trust.

But I find that I actually like who I’ve become. 

Oh, I have some regrets of course ~ everyone does.  But I want to tell you, the crosses and scars you bear now will only make you stronger.  Always remember that true strength lies in wise vulnerability.

What do I mean by that? 

Well, only silly people are vulnerable to everyone Tom, Dick, and Harry that they meet.  You’re intuitive (something that I wish I’d known years ago), with a big heart that is easily sucked in.  You love people, and you love to comfort and care for them.  This is all well and good.  But care wisely and cautiously.  Not everyone wants your good.  And some?

Well, some will break your heart simply because they can.

Oh, and at least two schmucks you meet harbor a pathological hatred of women.  I won’t tell you who ~ even though I’d like to put them in a sack and beat them senseless, their hurtful words and betrayals served a purpose as well. 

You will need to be stripped bare of all attachments for a time.  It will hurt like the furthest reaches of hell, but you’ll survive.  What is more important, you will need to learn to thrive.  It is a lesson I am still learning, and probably will struggle with the rest of my days.

So here is my advice ~ not that you’ll take it, you always had a stubborn, independent streak.  That’s a good thing ~ just remember to listen to those who are truly wise.  You will know them by their unconditional love and acceptance of you, and their joy in your presence.  They simply radiate goodness.  You’ll meet one soon and let me tell you, you are gonna love Miss Moopes.  She will be a balm and a guide in one of your darkest hours.

These are the most important things to hold on to:

Loyalty
Unconditional love
Compassion
The ability to listen without judgment
Empathy
Learn the Five Love Languages and discover which ones your friends and family “speak”
Journal often ~ every day if you can.
Therapy is healthy; just remember some shrinks are crazy and don’t always have the answer.
Let go
Forgive often and without bitterness
Learn to be comfortable with conflict and confrontation
You aren’t the center of the world – so don’t take things personally (see letting go)
Put yourself in the other person’s shoes (see empathy)
Dream big ~ you’ve got what it takes
Keep telling stories

Most importantly, tend your own fire and plant your own garden ~ no one else can do it for you, and although some might help now and then, your gifts and talents are your responsibility.  Only you can make them grow.

And my dear, you have many gifts and a good heart.  Don’t ever let anyone tell you differently or try to take that away.

My one regret is that I listened too often to those who were jealous, empty, or insecure.  You are loved.  Just not by everyone. 

And that’s okay.

Oremus pro invicem,
~ Mikaela

If you wrote a letter to yourself, how old would you be?  And what advice would you give yourself?


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