I will be 40 in a few weeks. On my journey of healing, I have always gone back to my 12-year-old self. This was when life got real.
Veils were removed, the magic of everything I knew as a young girl faded. I was told to “behave” and “look” like a lady. There were codes that needed to be followed to be accepted and it was a struggle for me to meet them.
Insecurity, anxiety and limiting beliefs took up permanent residence inside me. It was the beginning of a very dysfunctional relationship to myself. And it doesn’t matter how old I am, that little girl revisits me often. Along with her pain.
After doing years of inner work, I now realize she is calling me in – she needs me. We both need to heal. So here is my letter to her . . .
Dear 12-year-old Agnes,
I look at your face and I remember all the love that you have inside of you. The magical, creative, anything-can-happen world that we created for ourselves. My God, it is a vibrant world. YOU are magical. But I also remember the changes happening. You are exiting the life of a ‘kid’ and are about to enter your teens and things are just not what we anticipated.
You realize not everyone is your friend or loyal and that words can hurt. They can really hurt. You march to the beat of your own drum and not everyone can (or wants to) dance to your rhythm. You are highly sensitive but people dismiss it as being “dramatic”. You are growing, changing and feeling very awkward. That anything-can-happen fire inside you has grown dim, due to anxieties around what other people will say or think. You doubt yourself now. You are losing your voice. You are losing your light. PLEASE. DO NOT SHUT DOWN YOUR MAGIC.
You struggle to get used to this changing new body you have. It doesn’t feel comfortable at all. It is not like the other girls in class; and for this you are bullied and teased. The defeat you feel from going shopping — nothing ever really fits, not looking like Alyssa Milano or Cindy Crawford starts the comparison game. You begin to pray in desperation to shrink (in all ways) and this leads to destructive self-talk, Anorexia, Bulimia, harmful diets and ways to shed the weight. Please, listen. Do not sell your soul to be skinny. Do not let the size on a label or scale have you say no to life. Do not live life on the sidelines and, please, do not stand in your own way.
Embrace the beautiful body you have now. Just like you, she is growing and adjusting. Nothing is permanent. She is going through this life with you and she needs your love to grow healthy. Our bodies are amazing; she will take you on this adventure of yours. Nourish and love her. You will need her and, trust me; she is resilient and will be there for you. You both will grow into a Mama Warrior Goddess with amazing superpowers. This I promise you.
You love so big and so hard – so being a hopeless romantic comes with the territory. You have these expectations of what ideal love is supposed to be like. But it is not a teen movie or TV love affair. You are searching for this “LOVE” from outside sources, but are never satisfied. Here’s the thing, no love will taste amazing until you fall in love with yourself. The ultimate love affair, sweetheart, is with you. It is the most important love affair and until you do, nothing will feel like the movies. It goes in that order, You-love and then other-people-love. You are worthy of the best love.
Do not listen to what the world tells you. Do not give them the power to dictate how to feel, see, hear, speak, and smell. They are not the boss of you. Do not play small or be embarrassed to do things you are unsure of. Because once you do, it will feel amazing. That is the secret, my love. Confidence and courage do not come with age. It comes with embracing fear and doing it anyway. And we will always be scared because we are human. Get used to the fear, transform it (another secret, it is just energy – YOU get to make it what you want it to be). Use fear to light you up. Do not, I REPEAT, do not put that fire out. That fire will light your way.
That feeling, the rumble, drumming in your gut — pay attention to that. The feeling that feels like a volcano about to erupt when someone is putting you down, making fun of you, telling you girls cannot be superheroes or that a man will never love you because you are the size you are – do NOT ignore it. That drumming is your voice and your power. USE IT!
Say the “no’s” that feel right. Do not sell your soul to be accepted. Do not do the things that make you uncomfortable, say no – no matter what. Stand your ground and set your boundaries, they will listen. And the ones that don’t, take your power back, walk away and send them love (that is actually one of your strongest superpowers).
Erase the stories the world told you to have, the woman you NEED to be when you grow up, to behave and act like a “Lady”. Throw those fairytales in the trash, this is your story — you, and only you, get to write it. Just sit with who you are right now. Write everything down and keep those stories close to you. That will be the self-help book you’re going to be searching for as an adult. You already have the magic; everything you search for is already with you Babygirl.
Yes, we have been introduced to the ugly side of life. Life is hard; there is heartache, cynicism and defeat. There will be times we’re so overwhelmed, moments where we cannot breathe, but, Agnes, you will be ok.
Life will not always be easy, but it will get better. These are painful but beautiful lessons in which we gain clarity and courage and you will be introduced to your ride or dies — Love & Intuition. Keep them close and always listen to them.
Forgive me for not doing these things sooner. Forgiving me for not speaking up for you or asking for help. Forgive me for the hateful things that were said and done. But I am with you now. I see you, the real you. You are not alone. I love you.
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I hope this inspires you to take a look at your relationship to your own inner child. Listen for her. What is she saying? Maybe write her a letter and see what comes up. Share your insights with me in the conversation box below, I’d love to hear from you!