one year ago, I wrote myself a letter

mountaintopOne year ago I was struggling with a lot of challenges. At that time there was a handful of people at work who I didn’t know how to handle (who knew I’d have to deal with bullying again in my late twenties?) and things weren’t all sunshine and rainbows with my significant other, either. I was in a new state, at a new job and I was crying almost every day, having panic attacks and feeling helpless in managing my depression. I wasn’t teaching yoga and I felt like I was missing out on the one thing I’m actually good at.

A little more than a year ago, I began teaching wellness classes for my coworkers. At one of these sessions I recommended that everyone who was feeling stressed write a letter to get whatever they were feeling off their chest. They could write it to someone else and send it, or not. They could write a letter to themselves and open it in six months or a year. I remember trying to hold back tears as I wrote myself the words I desperately wanted to hear.

Dear Courtney

I just wanted to let you know that I am proud of you. I’m not sure where you will be on your path when you get this, but I’m confident that you are there for a reason and that you have what it takes in body, mind and spirit to make the best of it. 

As I write this, things are hard. But when have they not been?! What you must do is choose how to use these obstacles. What will you allow them to teach you? Are you willing to have scrapes, bruises and uncomfortable conversations? Are you willing to start over? Are you willing to let people see you make a mess? 

No matter what you answer, know this:

  • You deserve love. 
  • You deserve patience. 
  • You deserve joy. 
  • You are worthy of kindness. 
  • You are worthy of second chances. 
  • You are strong enough to grow. 
  • You are smart enough to try again. 

Every sweet gift you have to offer was given to you by your creator for a reason- they entrusted you with too much for you to stay put. If where you are doesn’t want you/won’t let you be your best self, you must go. 

I believe in you. Please don’t give up. 

Love,

Courtney ❤

One year later, my SO and I are getting along better. One year later, my job has improved significantly (three of the most difficult people actually left the organization) and I look forward to going in to the office every day. My depression and anxiety will probably be things I wrestle with forever, but I have begun teaching yoga again and having that community available to me has made a huge difference.

We won’t always get what we want and deserve from the people around us. But we can choose to show up for ourselves when things are really dark. Your situation doesn’t have to be worse than anyone else’s to feel like you need some help. When the help doesn’t come, you might mistake that void for being unworthy of what you need. Please don’t do that. Instead, when help doesn’t come, it’s time for you to pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and make some hard choices, have some hard conversations and do the difficult work of loving yourself unconditionally.


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