Sunday, December 17, 2017

love letter.

Dear self,
I read something today that made me think of you. Unexpected yet effective which are a few of our favorite things, are they not? Here is the thing I read:
"my mentor asked me "would you be friends with people who spoke to you the way you speak to yourself?" and I was fucked up for 30 minutes."

I don't know the exact source so I can't post it, but the message is effective. It is a version of something I've heard of before, mainly in practicing mindfulness. Speak to yourself as you would a friend. Give yourself the same gentle and caring approach. The straightforwardness of this particular statement cut right to it today, though. I've been fucked up about it for more than 30 minutes. As the day continued I kind of realized I've been fucked up about that for a great deal of my life.

Self, I bring this up because I want to apologize. I know forgiveness is a touchy thing but for this I hope we can navigate that tricky body of water together. I'm sorry for treating you like such a burden. You are not my burden. You are me. You are my life. You are the very thing I have been and will be and am fighting to be in this very moment. You deserve to be spoken to with more respect and gentleness. You deserve the best I can give...all that I give so easily to others I love. I have withheld so much from you for years. Maybe I didn't think you earned it, whatever that might mean. Maybe you weren't aware of the amount of love and respect you should give inwardly. Perhaps it didn't occur to you. If we are supposed to treat people the way we want to be treated, why do we let ourselves get away with being so internally cruel?

Self, you count too.

If I don't have you, I don't have much of anything.

I'm sorry I let you be convinced that your place was in the background, a side character to your story. Your story. We've talked about this. Who else will tell it? Who else can? Who else knows? And it will be whatever you want it to be. It doesn't have to be anything that anyone else might want or expect or anticipate. It isn't their satisfaction you need to appease.

You've written enough love letters to others. You've given your heart freely thinking: it's already been in pieces for so long why not? What did you keep for yourself?

Self, how did you speak to others today?
How did you speak to yourself?

Today I thought a lot about you, and all that you are, even the things you convince yourself that you never were or aren't anymore. I thought about the incredibly shy 7th grader turning in a 61 page handwritten story for a free-write assignment, because that's what she wanted to do. I thought of that night, in the back of car crossing the bridge into Trenton, when you quietly realized you would need to experience it all to tell it right. A little nod and agreement--I will say yes to things. I will try. Thought about all the summer nights you only partially allowed yourself to enjoy because you couldn't stop thinking "this will end." I thought about the migraines and days after too.I thought about the part of you that still holds her breath when a semi passes on the highway. I thought of 7 year old you, dressed like a punk rocker for Halloween at your grandma's CB club Halloween party:

I gave thought to your favorite things and the things that have frightened you. I thought of you crying in front of a crowd and I thought of you dancing wild 'til 2 in the morning arms up with people you love and would fight for. And I thought about how badly you need to start fighting for yourself.

All my love.

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