I want you to remember the time you stood up, collected your belongings off the floor, headed straight for the door and never looked back. I want you to remember the times you had the courage to stand up for what was right even when everyone else had their mouth closed shut.
The times you stood up for yourself. The times you stood up for someone else. I want you to remember the time you packed your bags and moved out west, all alone, having never been to the places you heart ached to go. I want you to remember this, YOU ARE STRONG.
But then, there are days where I wish I could go back and tell myself about the things I know now. I wish I could go back in time and give myself just enough love to have the courage to move through life with ease and less concern for the needs, thoughts or judgment of others. Deep down inside I know, I needed to experience those lows to bring me forward to where I am today but still I wonder…. how different would life be if I had loved myself more?
So I have to say something, I’m sorry.
I’m sorry I faltered and never gave you the love you deserved. I’m sorry I cared more about what others thought and desired then to care about your own needs. I’m sorry for all the times I yelled at you. That I screamed and whispered, “you suck” and “you’ll never be enough.” I’m sorry that I called you stupid, fat, lazy and dumb.
Yes, I’m sorry for it all.
And if I had known then, that by whispering those disgusting words of hate in the dark, that you would have brought them to light; I would have stopped right there. But I didn’t know then what I now know. So for that I’m sorry.
I’m sorry that I ate up your courage to believe that you could be more. I’m sorry that I guilted you into feeling that you always deserved less. From what I see now you deserve more. Better yet you deserve the world. But back then you were worthless and unworthy of a thing.
For that, I’m sorry.
I’m sorry for not loving you enough to care. I’m sorry for eating, drinking and starving you. I’m sorry for always hoping that if I could just change everything about you that you’d be better. But the truth is I didn’t need to change you. What I needed to do was the one thing I didn't know how to do, love you.
So for that I’m sorry.
I’m sorry for never loving you enough.
You deserved more.
I’m sorry that your lack of self worth that I created encouraged you to seek out men and women who felt as low as you. I’m sorry for every unhealthy relationship that brought you further down into the depths of despair while you sought after love. I’m sorry that I sent you looking elsewhere for something that I could never give you. Something I was never able to understand.
I’m sorry for every doubt I ever placed in your mind.
And I’m fucking sorry that it took this much time.
Now, I look at the strong, independent women you’ve become and I wonder would life have been different if there was love?
I wonder have you ever felt this way before? Have you shamed your body or your mind for not being what you wanted it to be? And in the process did you forget to love yourself?
If you’re anything like I was you might be filled with self-doubt and criticism. You might even be filled with shame when you think back to the places you’ve been, the things you’ve said or even the disgusting thoughts you’ve let run through your head.
But I have to tell you something you’re human. You’re here. You’re alive. You matter. And you’re loved. No matter what you’ve said or what you’ve done you’re still loved.
But if you’re heart is aching to be loved the love it needs will only come from within.
There will never be a time in life where you will be able to find something from someone else unless you’ve already found the way to give it to yourself first. So stop looking at everyone else to fix what you feel might be broken and start looking inward and doing the work.
An open letter apology to the woman you used to be is a great place to begin the healing process. Grab yourself a pen and paper. Yes, handwritten is definitely better. Find yourself a cozy spot where you won’t be interrupted and dig deep underneath your hardened shell. What comes up? What do you still carry with you? Where should you say I’m sorry?
After you’ve poured your heart out and you've wiped away all the tears, seal your words in a stamped envelope. Give them to your husband or a trusted friend and ask them to mail it to you in a month or two. The most important part is that you find or receive the letter when it is least expected.
Now you just wait. Oh my goodness friends you know I’ve got to be kidding, right? Now you do the work.
You make a conscious effort to speak kindly to yourself. You make an effort to not repeat the same negative story over and over again. You meet hate and fear with LOVE, over and over again.
And for now remember that….
You are enough.
You are worthy.
You are not your past. You are today.
You are loved.
Learning how to love is a life-long journey but it all begins with this first step, forgiveness.
With all my heart,