03 December 2013

Write a letter to your 16-year old self

What an absolutely great idea. I read it somewhere, probably on my Facebook feed, because that's all the social interaction I get outside the house these days. Minus work. Well, yeah, so my job is pretty socially interactive. So I guess I don't really know what I'm talking about. Especially on account of being entirely and intrinsically happy to not have to do anything in the evenings. That and the fact that I get the social buzz for the one side of my split personality at work and then I get to be totally introverted, quiet, and anti-people in the evenings for the other side.


I caught a glimpse of that on my feed and it stuck with me. I mean, there has to be reflective and therapeutic power in that. And for me personally it flags and goes along with the theme of writing my daughters their own personal letters for Christmas. Maybe because they're both teenagers and writing a letter to my teen self will be very revealing. Maybe because I feel like I've messed up their lives so bad and need to ensure, in some way, that despite their unorthodox lives, and the physical distance between us was forced to be because of some stupid twit decision I made three years ago, that we are as close as I feel us to be.

In either or whatever case, it would go something like this:

"Dear Amy,

 I don't know whether to shake you or bite my tongue yet again! You deserve compassion but you're not standing up for yourself. Stand up for yourself! And only do it from a place that comes from your heart and from thinking about the situation, not a defensive, ready-made stance. 

Don't be afraid. Don't go on people-please autopilot. It's gonna be hard. All of it. It's gonna hurt sometimes. Decisions that seem to go against the grain or that will piss people off, even your parents. But don't use that strong sense of intolerance for injustice to beak off to people and then cower when it's important. Use it authentically. You're not going to make all people happy all the time. You're only going to have you and your morals to go off of once all the people you tried to please abandon you.

And I know you feel like it's selfish to think of yourself--at all--but you HAVE to take care of you from the inside out. If you don't now, trust me, no one else will. And no one else can. No one is going to EVER be able to read your mind; or know your likes and dislikes better than you, and who better than you to teach those around you how to love you? If you don't do it, who's going to do it? Don't wait for someone else to do it. That's toxic as hell!

Your mom and dad are going through some rough shit that they don't know how to overcome and even more importantly (to them) don't know how to parent past. They are doing the best they can, but they are from an era and generation where they are a little more selfish than the generation before them, and they've both had their own hard roads to get to this point. They shouldn't be together, but that's not your problem. Try not to worry, you will be all right. Just don't let their depression and inadequacies rain on you. And never, ever forget that even in their flawed human moments, all their good was instilled in you and all of your good morals would not be without them.

Just keep your head up. Keep holding onto God. Keep praying. Use more logic and less emotion. Dig deep, pull hard, never do anything or make any decision, however small, without thinking about what you want and then be ready to embrace the consequences. Belly up, buck up, and pull up your boot straps and FACE the consequences. Be happy there ARE consequences. And remember you are never really alone. People will come and go in your life, some will stay, some will love you regardless of circumstance, and some will hurt you, but even when there are no people, there is God. And His Son. And the Holy Spirit. And THAT Holy Trinity will always surround you with people who are attracted to that same entity.

Remember that a real man will do 3 things for his woman: He will protect her physically, spiritually, and emotionally. Remember to check any red flag in any character you meet and think about it. Don't ignore it simply because you're trying to see the good in a person. If you make a wrong decision and hurt people, make it right. But make a decision. Stand for something.

Most importantly, follow your heart and use deliberate, conscious thought always. Things will happen in your life that are unexpected. Good, bad, terrible, attrocious, wonderful and miraculous. Don't let the emotion of pain carry you away into a life of panic, fear, and terror; and never get so wrapped up in elation that you forget who you are, because at the end of the day, it's important to be wholesome, grounded, and eyes focused on the main prize--God and self respect. Everything will follow that, as long as you lead with it.

Quit being so nice."

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