I’ll admit it. When I was first asked to write a “forgiveness letter to myself,” I was a little resistant, a little apprehensive. I put it off a bit. Maybe somewhere inside of myself I thought it was a silly, indulgent, perhaps a little hippy-dippy. And this came from a woman who spend 12 hours a day for three years earning her MFA in Acting (my boyfriend and I jokingly refer to this as “imagination” school). Regardless of its nickname, it was one of the most difficult and fulfilling things I have ever done. I worked for years on digging around in a my soul and rolling around, in connecting with my breath and my center, on trusting myself and on tuning my imagination like a violin. All of that, and this letter still felt…different. However, I understand that sometimes change demands my stepping into the uncomfortable and evolving is important to me at this point in my life. Lo’ and behold…after I completed the letter, I actually felt a shift in myself. I felt lighter. I felt like I had actually sat down with myself for a heart-to-heart. I felt I began to accept that person in all her imperfect glory.
I want to start out by saying that I’m really proud of you. Rest assured, I see the change in you. I see that you are evolving. I can feel your spirit expanding, that you are daring to step into your fear and trust that you can rise above and connect with the strongest part of yourself, your “knowing self.” I truly feel that you are happier, more centered, a better friend to people, a better daughter and partner, that you are recognizing that you are exactly where you are supposed to be right now in this moment. I can feel that you are slowly surrendering to that. Obviously, it has not always been this way. You have spent a lot of the last five years living in a state of panic. I love and feel for the you that felt so racked with anxiety and fear despite all the gifts you have in your life. You really have so many. It’s kind of insane how many you have.
I know you are still far from perfect, but part of me likes that you will never be there, or even close, for that matter. It doesn’t bother me in the least. I only care that you keep letting go of what is no longer serving you, namely the very strong emotional attachment to how your life SHOULD look. I only care that you keep saying yes to possibility, to love and the potential for gorgeous, pivotal, awesome experiences right under of your nose. The mysteries of how life weaves its way are too exhausting to wrangle and I know that it can sometimes be hard to trust that you are enough. You are.
I know there is real darkness in you and I accept that and I accept you. As your movement teacher in graduate school would say, “It’s alright. It’s alright. It’s alright.” Without this darkness, there wouldn’t be the light that I have grown very fond of. It’s okay that you make mistakes or become petty (especially when you have had a bit too much to drink). I know you are trying so damn hard not to sink down, but rather to rise up.
It’s okay because you are still learning how to fully embrace your light. I know you are still pretty protective of it, trying to control and shield it from the elements, from other people, for fear they might blow it out. Sometimes, this actually causes YOU to smother and snuff it out and to have to start the process of rekindling the flame. I forgive you for this. Flames can be relit.
I forgive you for saying all those really nasty things to yourself and for dragging yourself down when you are trying to fly because I get it. I get that part of you still wants to smash down into the concrete sometimes. I forgive you for stuffing yourself with food to feel that low, that smash down, or to fill emptiness or yearning with things
that only perpetuate the emptiness and yearning.
I forgive you for your cruelty and I recognize that the need to be cruel to others is really a need to be cruel to yourself. You know you always feel terrible afterward so I won’t try to punish you any more than you do yourself. I forgive you for telling yourself that you were ugly, or fat, or undesirable, for telling yourself you weren’t worthy of the beautiful life you dreamed of, of true friendships or unconditional love. I forgive you for abusing yourself sometimes. I know you are still figuring out the relationship between your mind, body and spirit and I am giving you that space, free of judgement.
I forgive you for not helping people even when every cell of your body was screaming for you to take action because you were tired, or it was inconvenient or it felt uncomfortable or confusing. I forgive you for keeping your eyes shut to all the lessons all around you all the time, blocked by tunnel vision or bitterness.
I forgive you for still having “issues” and holding on so tightly to your story, like a kid holding its blanket. You are still a mystery to yourself and I hope you continue uncovering clues until the day you die. I forgive you for living in your head instead of your body, especially because you know that is where you are happiest. You know that on a cellular level and that is
part of the reason you love acting so much because your highest intelligence lives in your body. You have always known that, deep in your bones.
I really do forgive you all these things and I’m really happy for you, Beth. I’m happy that you have started asking yourself difficult questions and starting to lovingly ask for more from yourself, that you are starting to look inside and not on the outside for true contentment. You were beautiful from the day you were born, before you knew how to judge yourself. You really were. You were loved before you knew how to breathe, to judge yourself, to demand love or ask for it. You can best allow your Beth light to shine if you return to that place, by not blocking this life with your ego and your need to control people and their perception of you. I know you know that life’s story is much more beautiful when you make peace with yourself. You are and have always been beauty, Beth. Sit in silence with that.
Ahhh…there it is. There is my forgiveness letter. You ready to pick up a pen and paper and start your own?
Here’s a hint…let it come from your “heart flow” (Like the Natasha Bedingfield song). Get out of that head and let your heart and hands write the letter. Forgiveness comes straight from your chest, your center of “feeling.” When you are done, I would love to hear from you.
What was the experience like? (You could even share a part of your letter)
Remember…as I said to myself “You are and have always been beauty” (In all the good and the bad).
Rock On and Be Well,