Letter To Thirteen Year Old Me
Dear thirteen year old me, You pride yourself on being a perfectionist; you spend all your time worrying about what others think about you, how you can keep everyone feeling pleased with you, and how you can make everyone else happy. PLEASE LET GO OF THAT NOW. If you don't, in thirteen years, you will find yourself sicker than you can imagine, feeling like your life is over. Know this: let go of all expectations - yours and others. Forget what others think or say about you. Spend time with just yourself and cultivate an attitude of love, care, and acceptance for yourself. You know how you tell your friends that they are intelligent, beautiful, talented, valuable, important, and precious? Treat yourself as you would your friend. Only then will health and vitality be yours. January 6, 2015 --- I wrote these words four long years ago during a workshop about Happyness (intentionally spelled with a "y") by Dr. Christian Guenette. He had us write this letter to our young self, the self I was before I got sick, and this is what flowed out of me. I knew. I knew what had to be done. And yet, I couldn't do it. In April 2017, life was dark. My health still a mess. My marriage in shambles. And I did something I had never done before: I booked a 3-night solo retreat for myself on Bowen Island. I arrived, I opened my journal, and I began to write again for the first time in a long time. I re-wrote this letter he had us write to ourselves. And then I wrote this: "I wrote this on January 6, 2015 and still don't do these things. I am a slow learner when it comes to myself. What am I resisting??? What is holding me back? This letter is proof that deep down, I KNOW what I must do. Why don't I do it? I hope that this 3-day retreat is the first step towards me truly setting myself free." And it was. Significant change did not happen soon after that. But I did grasp onto something that has stayed with me: the value in being alone with myself. In nature. By the water. On an island. Now I am here, with myself and only myself, in this space. On this island. And change is happening.