Just a little while ago, “write a letter to your past self” was an exploding trend. I kept thinking of what I would want to tell my 12 years old self, and then to my 16 years old and 20 and so on. I had many words of wisdom going wild in my brain.
We experience life differently over the years because our priorities, goals and dreams change. We adjust our plans to fit with reality, to settle or thrive. I could have written a letter full of wisdom and good advices. Maybe I will one day. But I had to wonder at this stage in my life, what was the biggest lesson I learned, the most important thing I wish I knew much earlier. The answer to this was simply:”Self-love”.
It seems so easy to say: “off-course I love myself”, who doesn’t? Yet, self-love is a journey, a way of living. We daily intoxicate ourselves with bad thoughts, not realizing how much these affect our lives. We open up to anger, jealousy, hate and let those negative feelings invade our hearts. From the bad mood we carry long after a car cut in front of us in traffic, to the grudge we hold against our siblings, friends, coworkers. From caring so deeply about what others think of us, to letting it box us into fear. From carrying pain as martyrs and refusing to let it go because we are so convinced it defines who we are, where we are and where we are going.
Self-love is about acceptance and gratitude. It is about wanting to be happy and taking full ownership of our own happiness. Self-Love is a fire inside that desires the best. It is a force so strong that goes beyond negativity in all its forms. Self-Love is also tough love, bringing the strength to eliminate all that will keep us away from happiness and achievements.
Recognize that you are good enough. Actually, that you are “IT”! Loving yourself is not egotistical or self-centered. It is survival. Liberate yourself from this jail, box of negative emotions that you created by refusing to forgive, by being ungrateful for what life offered you, by living according to other’s standards.
Be the best version of you; make happiness a life purpose; “love yourself so fiercely that when others see you, they know exactly how it should be done” (Unknown source).
Next time that negative thought comes around, step up your conscious-self and command: I hear you, but I decided to be happy and love myself, so today I win!
It took me so long to understand and practice self-love; I am still in the journey. So in my letter to my past self, I would advise her to start and embrace this journey early on.