Have you ever thought about what it would be like to talk with any of your past “selves?” Isn’t it amazing to look back on the time you were a child, teenager, young or middle-aged adult, or even the time you’ve lived just several months ago? How much have you changed since those times? How much has your life changed?
What would you say to any one of those past “yous?” And would that past self have listened to you? ;)
Regardless, I think it can be a wonderful exercise in compassion and reflection to pen a letter to one of those former selves and look back on just how far you’ve really come. That’s why I recently decided to write a letter to myself at age 18.
I know that there’d be much I wouldn’t have listened to anyone about then, let alone a future version of myself! There’d also be much that I really would not have wanted to know about what was yet to happen in my life! That applies to both the great things and the challenges! I wouldn’t have believed many of the great things anyway, and I’d have been terrified to know about the future challenges before they came!
I’m grateful I don’t have a gift to see into the future!
There are many things I’ve left out of this letter, and on purpose. Why? Because my 18-year-old self just wouldn’t be ready to hear them, or able to receive them.
For instance: She wouldn’t have wanted to hear that her mother was a human, just like her. She wouldn’t have been able to process that concept nearly as deeply as I have now, and she wouldn't have been able to make peace with that part of her life.
She also wouldn’t have believed how many different career paths she was going to take in her lifetime, and how they would all serve her greatest good! She never would have believed that in an instant, plus she’d be frustrated and upset if she knew that she would eventually change her mind about the one she was then on!
So, with those ideas in mind, here’s what I may have said to 18-year-old me:
So much has just happened in your life! You’re on your way to college to pursue a music education degree! I’m so proud of you for all you’ve accomplished thus far!
Your life will be full of so many rich experiences! And you will teach and learn so many amazing lessons!
I know you may not listen to the following tips of advice right now, but I’ll share them with you anyway just in case you should happen to come across this letter at a time when you might really appreciate them.
Know that even if it seems like you’re taking a different path at times than you’ve planned, everything will always work out in the end for your best benefit.
Know that you will be blessed with so many amazing experiences! You’re the kind of person who will find the blessings in whatever life brings you. This will be a hugely beneficial trait for you as you continue your journey!
Know that even if you should feel alone on your journey at times, you are never fully alone.
Know that there will be times when life may not seem to make sense in the ways you’d hoped it would. But remember—you will always come through those times, and you will always learn exactly what you need to—all in the best timing!
If you should ever feel stuck or stagnant on your journey, come back to your writing and journaling whenever you feel like it. This will be one of the greatest things to help you.
If things don’t seem to be working out in the ways you wish, know that there are simply greater lessons to be learned, and they will show up for you in the perfect time. You’ll roll your eyes at this, but you will actually learn to have greater patience in your life! Just wait and see! ;)
Know that no matter how you feel about your relationship with your mother, you are always loved.
Know that no matter what happens or doesn’t happen in your lifetime, you are always loved.
And know that no matter what you’ve done or have not done in your life, you are always loved.
To quote someone you will know more about later on,
“Your future’s so bright, it burns my eyes.”
I will always be here for you, Francine. I will never abandon you. And I love you more than you can ever now know.
In deep gratitude,
Your future self.
I have a challenge for you this week. Take a few minutes and write or speak a letter to one of YOUR past selves. ;) See if you can do it with the utmost grace, love, forgiveness, and compassion. Look back on that person as if they are real, sitting right next to you. Because in a way, they have been, and they are. And send that person so much love, even if they may not really have been able to fully comprehend that love or to receive it.
And while you’re at it, if the present form of you also needs this outpouring of love from the depths of your heart, send that person a lot of that love as well. ;)
When you’re done with this exercise, feel free to comment or write me a note about what it felt like to do it. I’d love to hear from you!
Did you like this reflection? If so, please share it on Facebook or other social media!
Just copy and paste this link!
Are you wanting to do some deeper self-reflective work at this time in your life? Check out my first book here.
No matter what, always remember this: You are deserving, you are worthy, and you are good enough. Keep being you, keep shining, and keep growing!
With great love,