Yesterday I had to handle hard things. I was sad, but I was also kind. I cried, but I also laughed. I allowed myself rest, but I also allowed myself the joy of running with the wind against my face. I reached out to others. I allowed them into my pain and then I gratefully sat with them as they talked through their own pain. Yesterday I hurt. But I also loved.
My sadness was so strong that I knew I needed to do something with it. I didn’t want to waste it. I wanted to do everything I could to learn from it, grow from it. After thinking a bit I decided I wanted to write a letter to my daughter to remind her to laugh big, love big, and dream big on her most difficult days. But I quickly realized how much easier it would be to hide behind my daughter than hope in myself. My daughter didn’t need a letter, she needed a leader. She deserves more than eloquent words. She deserves an eloquent example. And so I wrote a letter to myself instead.
Hey you. Yep. It’s me again. Always me and always you. It’s you that I am stuck with until death does us part, for better or for worse. It’s you that has my back. It’s you that takes care of me and you that forgets me. It’s you that has to take responsibility for your choices and the emotions, blessings, and consequences you meet along the way.
Because, you are stuck with yourself my dear. For better and for worse. In sickness and in health. In life people will come, people will go. Friends, lovers, family. Even the best of them come and they all go…eventually. Others let you down. Or have their own agendas. Or don’t understand.
But not you…you remain.
Wherever I turn you are there. You are there with all your weaknesses and all your strengths. You were there when you were laughing so hard that you cried and when you cried so hard that you forgot how to laugh.
There have been times when I wish you weren’t there. Mornings where I begged God to wake up and be someone else. Yet you remain.
So, since we seem to be in this for the long haul then I want to do a better job of knowing you. Lifting you. Loving you. Because throughout this life…you remain. So since we still have a lifetime together can you do me a favor?
When you talk to yourself, use kind words.
When you dream for yourself, dream big dreams.
When you laugh, laugh loudly and when you love, love boldly.
When you cry, cry with someone who loves you, because one day they will need to cry as well. Take turns.
When you feel afraid, take a step. And another, and another.
Refuse to stop growing.
Refuse to stop learning.
Refuse to stay stuck.
You have a job in this life. A job that you and only you can do. Find your gift and give it to the world.
Stand tall, stand strong, try, fail, and try again.
Just. Keep. Going.
I promise. I will be here for you every step of the way.
If yesterday had happened to me several years ago I would have cried for days instead of minutes. But yesterday I wasn’t alone. I knew I could either be my own worst enemy or my own best friend. I chose well.
I hope you choose well too.