Letters to my younger self...
One of the most impactful pieces of my emotional healing and transformation has been the practice of writing letters to my younger self.
This is a very basic tool that I learned in the early days of incorporating self-compassion skills into my own mental health journey. It is a practice that I come back to over and over again, for one reason.... because it works!
It is something that I also suggest often to my clients when we inevitably uncover their own untended emotional wounds.
I recently wrote the following letter to my 3-year-old self after uncovering an early emotional wound during a powerful session of meditation.
Dearest little one,
I see your fear and confusion. You are safe now. You do not yet know how to lovingly hold space for your own emotions, and that's ok. You will learn.
You should never have been asked to make your needs smaller, quieter, or less burdensome to accommodate the comfort of your caregivers. Some of the adults around you could not give you what you needed simply because they never learned how to do that even for themselves.
You are allowed to feel the fear, the hurt, the anger, and the need for reassurance and comfort. I will hold that for you now so that you can finally rest.
For a time, you will respond to this emotional abandonment by learning to abandon yourself. This is a survival instinct. But the abandonment will not last forever. You will learn to allow and then heal these wounds as you lovingly reparent your childhood self. Your resilience and capacity to keep going until you finally discover the needed tools for your own healing is nothing short of miraculous.
You are worthy and deserving of the loving safety that you seek. Though it does not come in the ways, or in the time frame that you deserve, it will come. You will learn to be your own source of unconditional love and safety.
The journey will eventually prove to be worth it. You will learn to channel your own pain and healing into creating space to lovingly hold the pain of others, thereby facilitating even more healing in the world.
You no longer need to be afraid of what you feel. Though it doesn't seem so now, your ability to feel so deeply will one day serve as your greatest source of connection to others.
You are loved. You are safe. You are worthy.
You do not deserve this pain, but you will eventually channel it into something truly beautiful. Thank you for enduring. I am here to help you hold this pain and I will never walk away from you again.