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  • aliciaw shared a letter in the Group logo of A letter to my younger self contest submissionsA letter to my younger self contest submissions group 3 months, 1 week ago

    Dear Little Sunshine: I Know it's Dark Out There

    Dear Little Sunshine,

    The world might not make much sense to you right now and I know you are just trying your hardest to find a place where you feel seen and heard in the way you see and hear other people. I can’t promise you that people won’t break your heart or mislead you, but I can promise you that every twist and turn you take will be your very own journey into a world that makes sense to you.

    You’re going to be known as the helper before you ever truly feel helped. You are going to the big cousin, big sister, best friend, and even the parent sometimes. And you are going to be great at it because you have a natural ability to connect with and care for people. There will be a lot of times where you feel like too much is being expected of you and that you just can’t do it anymore. I want to let you know that for every moment you push through, you grow into a stronger version of yourself and encourage others to do the same.

    Little Sunshine, I need you to know that you light up rooms when you walk in. I see the way you bring love and inspiration to people three times your age. I see the way you check in on others to make sure everyone feels included. I see that your mind never stops racing and your body never ceases to move. I see that you are as full of love as you are fearful of it.

    I know those around you are impressed by your self-sufficiency because they don’t know it was your only option. I know that you’ve been given too much responsibility at a young age and just want to make mistakes. I know you feel neglected, but still show up for everyone. I know it hurts to think you always have to give more than you can receive, but I want to assure you that your incessant desire for curiosity, connection, and care will motivate you to be a pillar of love and creative expression in the lives of others.

    That light you shine because you feel so overlooked, will teach others to unashamedly be themselves. That depth you possess because you’ve seen so much in such a short amount of time, will teach others to take time to learn themselves. That warmth you radiate because the world is just so cold, will teach others to be kinder to themselves.

    So, when your heart hurts, don’t turn away from those in your life who never did you wrong, remember to lean into the love that surrounds you and multiply it. All the boys and girls, friends and foes, family members and strangers, who made you question your heart, hold them closely like they couldn’t hold you and I promise you that your life will be so much better because of it. I don’t ask that you stay strong and silent when the world doesn’t give you what you need, I ask that you stay soft and resilient. I ask that you continue to be an example of the shining, permeating, unwavering love you wish to feel. You will change the lives of so many others because of it.

    I love you, Little Sunshine and I am so proud of you

    Alicia
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    • Alicia, this piece is very well done. I am sorry you had so much responsibility so young, but the way you’ve handled it speaks to your strength and your heart. I am sure you are light for so many people around you.

      I absolutely love this line, “I don’t ask that you stay strong and silent when the world doesn’t give you what you need, I ask that you stay soft and resilient. I ask that you continue to be an example of the shining, permeating, unwavering love you wish to feel. ”

      Being soft yet resilient is a beautiful combination and at the heart of you are as a person. Keep shining bright. And continue to share your love with the world. It will come back to you. I look forward to reading more of your writing. Thank you for being a part of The Unsealed,
      <3 Lauren

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    • Wow, you are so strong, Alicia. You remind me of my older sister because she had to wear the big pants in our family when it came to taking care of us. After all, my mom was a gambling addict and she was never home. It makes me love my sister even more because she could’ve given up and not taken care of us but just like you, you continue to be strong and help out even though those were dark times it was the sunlight shining through it all

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    • Hi Alicia
      Wow what an amazing letter. What an incredible outlook. So incredible that you had so much responsibility at such a young age. Great advice. Not everyone is cut out for that kinda stuff. Clearly you are. Amazing 🙂
      Jim

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    • Hi Alicia. Here is the letter I told you about. The one about my dad.just wanted you to see it. Im very proud of it. Have a great day 😊

      Perseverance learned from the best
      This is my story about perseverance, a perseverance I didn’t know I had in me. But as with many things in life, sometimes you find things out the hard way.

      As I got older, and my parents got older, I knew that there’d be a day when the roles will be reversed,and I’d be the one taking care of them. When my mom passed in 2004, I made a pact to myself that I’d never let my dad feel alone.48 years with mom, I never wanted him feeling like he was by himself.
      As dad got into his 80’s, things got tougher. For him of course. And for me. He developed Parkinsons and dementia in his mid 80s. Simple things-things that we take for granted like speaking clearly,remembering what he had for lunch,sitting down from the toilet- became a challenge. Again, for him. And for me. My brother and sister had moved to California, so it was just us. We always said “we’re a team”

      The last few months of him living in his condo were very challenging for us. For me, it was gut wrenching to walk in every day and not be sure what kind of state he was in. Things we always enjoyed became less fun-like dinner,watching tv,talking sports. It became more of just try to get to the end of the day-more survival than living. The idea that I could see my dad have Parkinsons induced hallucinations,and come to his condo or the nursing home and meet the paramedics after another fall and still be OK after is something I wasn’t sure of. But all that happened. Several times. I know he was the one going through it all. But because I was with him every possible step of the way, I went through it too. I’m proud of how much I cared for my dad. It is one thing I will never regret. There is no manual for what to say to a parent when they see a cowboy on a blank TV screen, what to say when you say your dad “playing” some sort of card game or rolling dice while he’s in his wheelchair, to try not to be sad when his golf buddies would come visit and be sad because their friend wasn’t his 100% self. I persevere the years before that because if going to Kohls 5 times just to get a pair of pants that dad liked was necessary, then so be it. I persevere by learning how to have the same conversations every day, because its what Dad knew and was familiar with. But mainly I persevere because I had to. For Dad. And because he taught me how to for all of his 89 years, up until the very end. I learned from the best how to persevere through the worst. The worst meaning seeing my strong dad be maybe not so strong. And to try to keep a positive face as much as possible, even when watching my dad struggle was tearing me up inside. Years ago, I wouldn’t have thought I could see all these things and still be OK. He was my hero. My Little League coach. My buddy to yell at the TV during Browns and Cavs games with. But again, I did it. Because he did it. And we were the best team ever. Right Dad? “Right”. Thanks Dad

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