natalyamonyokwrites submitted a contest entry to Write a letter to your younger self – Spring/Summer 2022 1 year, 5 months ago
What I Wish I Knew Back Then
Dear my younger self,
You used to write letters to your future self every year based off what happened to you in your past. These letters were always centered around the pain that plagued you and the heartbreak that others caused you. They were meant to be warnings for me, a big red sign that read: DO NOT DO THIS AGAIN IT WILL BREAK YOU. But you know what I learned recently? I learned that any advice that strays from the human experience is not based off truth, but rather fear.
We are all little creatures in a beautiful, vast universe – this pain comes with the job title. Living in the future too much caused you an overwhelming amount of anxiety, but living in the past filled you with deep sadness and regret. What you failed to realize back then is that living in the present moment isn’t unproductive – it is peaceful.
I think you missed something very important in all those old letters. You forgot to mention that without sorrow there can not be rapture, without grief there can not be peace, and without heartbreak there can not be love. You were coming from a place of unfathomable hurt. In the end, it was you who needed a letter, not me.
So, this is what I wish I could have told you back then. Never forget you can handle anything life throws your way. It’s okay to feel weak, to break down and cry. It’s okay to have regrets. In fact you should have regrets because if you don’t then that means you’ve never tried anything worth losing yourself in. You are human and your deep capacity to feel is your strength, not your undoing. How lucky are you that you’re able to love the way you do, that you’re able to see the light in the dark, that you’re able to empathize with the sadness of others? How lucky are you that you’re able to laugh wildly, that you’re able to experience unmatched joy, that you’re so grateful sometimes you have to shed your tears in order to express it?
All the heartbreak, all the failures, all the terrible things that happened to you is what’s going to show you which direction to go in. All you have to do is follow the path I carved out for you. And trust me when I say I came out okay on the other side.
I am here today, full of love and hope, because of every good and bad and horrible and amazing thing that has ever happened to you. But I am also here because I refused to give up, because I kept going even when all I could do was crawl, because I envisioned a better future for myself and believed with everything I had in me that it was possible. I will leave you with one final thought: Anything and everything can be a catalyst for change. But it is up to you to take the shattered vase and glue it back together with gold.
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