Below is a love letter to myself. It is Day 12 of the #reverb14 and this was the task for today. I found it incredibly difficult to write. It felt narcissistic and wrong. And yet, by doing so I was able to acknowledge the value of myself as a person. As a person with depression I find this almost impossible to do.
It ended up being reflective, encouraging and extremely cathartic and, dear friend, I truly encourage you to do the same. It will feel strange. We are taught from the very outset that any self love is really vanity which is wrong. It isn’t vanity or wrong. It is something we don’t do often enough. We don’t visit ourselves and acknowledge our strengths and gifts. Perhaps if we did, the world we live in might be a little nicer and kinder place to be.
Today is Friday, 12th of December 2014. This time a couple of years ago there was much hype about the impending end of the world due to someone in the Mayan culture not continuing their calendar, silly person. It worried you though. You were only 44 years old and there was so much you felt you had not done and it scared the crap out of you to think you may never get to do them. What frightened you most though was the fact that you knew you had all this unrealised potential inside of you and you didn’t want to die without getting some chance to put it out into the world.
It would take you another two years to start to work towards realising your full potential. And you are still very much a work in progress. That is okay.
It was a fortuitous day in January that you met with that art therapist who urged you to start your blog. Even as you felt you didn’t know what you wanted to blog about, or what you wanted to say, or what niche you should have, or if indeed you had anything to say at all, you knew deep down inside that all you had to do was show up and start writing.
I want to thank you for doing that. For just showing up, week after week, and just writing.
So often you would have no idea what to say, but somehow as your fingers danced across the keyboard, the words would tumble out. Sometimes your life seemed so dark that all you could write about was that darkness that inhabited your soul on that day.
What you didn’t know is that by answering the call to write, by spilling your guts out onto the page and into the cyber/universe, you were healing the toxicity that had inhabited your soul for so very long. That writing was allowing the light to shine through those cracks of that damaged heart of yours and it was beautiful.
You had no idea the people you would touch, or the people you would meet, and your instinct was to withdraw. History had taught you not to trust. But you didn’t withdraw, you ignored your head, you listened to your heart and you took a deep breath, mustered your courage and went to those gatherings, and online meetups, you made your contributions and with it amazing connections.
I know you still struggle to see what goodness people see in you, how surprised you feel when someone says how kind you are or what an amazing writer you are. This is because us creatives never believe our own self worth. Which is why we have to look at our craft as an act of service, to put some goodness out into the world, expecting nothing in return. That way, we safeguard ourselves from disappointment and anguish. The irony is that once we start to do that, as you have started to do this year, the universe responds. It starts to give back in ways you never imagined, as you now have begun to see.
Please do continue with your kindness bombs. The world needs them. I know you doubt yourself and wonder if the words are just frivolous noise in a sea of online noise. I know you wonder if they mean anything. Let me say this: Anything that is positive and kind and nurturing is worth putting out into the world. There is so much negativity out there that anything that counters that is a good thing. People let you know that they love them, so please do continue with them.
I want to thank you too for your resilience. I know you don’t feel that you are resilient, but you are. I know how hard it is for you sometimes when the black dog comes to call, how you want to slink away, how you convince yourself that no one cares, how sometimes just drawing breath seems more effort than it is worth. But you do, you draw that breath, you get out of bed, you meet with your friends, you go online, you write. You show up every single day and my dear dear Sarah, that is worth celebrating.
You are just beginning to realise that life is something that is for living. You are just finding out that you are a good person who has something to offer the world and believe me when I say that 2015 is going to take that momentum and catapult you even further to find more joy, more happiness, more peace and contentment than you ever imagined would be possible. So much so that when the world is in fear of ending again, you will be able to hold your head up high and say “That’s okay, I’ve lived a good life, I’ve given the world all I can”.
Look back at this year, Sarah, and see how far you have come. Know how proud I am of you, how proud your family is of you. Know that you are well loved and valued for what you bring to this world. Know that you have so much more to give. As you head into 2015, continue with your courage and your tenacity, your kindness and your love. The world truly does need it. And do not stop writing.
In closing, I want you to know that I love you. You probably don’t know that, but deep down inside I value you and I cannot wait to travel with you as you realise that full potential you have burning inside of you, and to live a life of self worth and inner contentment. Let’s walk those 500 miles together and then 500 more.
Lots of love,