December 17, 2020

A Letter to Myself on the Days we are just Surviving.


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Dear You,

It’s been some time since we have had a talk, wrestled with words. Analysed and agonized on what could have been, should have been, what wasn’t so. Who left, who stayed.

We haven’t needed to readjust for a while. We have not had to face fears. It has been a while since vulnerability didn’t feel so good, since we discovered the power of it. The awareness of how much courage we had to stare it in the face and hold our gaze.

You’ve come a long way, much too far to go back (you’ll never go back, because you are better), but sometimes a reminder is always good. I am here for that, I will answer that call, scribe that letter, and provide you with that passage.

You learned that unreturned love is no lesser a love. That giving is always nobler than taking. That being overlooked didn’t make you invisible. You welcomed wholehearted living, you cut ties—then, built bridges. You massaged your own ego and kept the demons at bay.

We sang a lot, found lyrics that resonated, and we read even more. We listened to understand together. We grew in so many ways without uprooting—we shed then bloomed and shed and so on and so forth. Now, look at the garden; it’s quite a view!

I was close by on the dark days and dancing with you on the better days. The tears that you shed—they were not wasted tears, they were brave. I especially liked the part where you rediscovered your worth, that part was illuminating. You were illuminated.

I was there when you decided it was time to open up, and I remember the joy. It took a while to get there, didn’t it? Freely trust another. I remember the hours of agony following an unreciprocated response that left you asking, What did I do? Why am I not enough? I am just giving you a gentle reminder: the real tragedy is in losing someone who truly loved you—that is not your tragedy; that was their story, not yours.

I watched as your friends appeared like shining beacons to guide you, and you followed. I watched as others disappeared and cleared the path

I was beside you when you gave your heart, lock-stock, whilst asking for nothing but a warm home for it to stay. I watched as it was handed straight back to you. I saw you put it on ice, then every day since, I have witnessed the ice dissipate as the warmth inside you thawed it out. The energy you created, the power you cultivated, and the healing and rehousing of that heart—back with its rightful owner.

I have seen doubt creep in, and you ward it off, like an unwelcome stranger on your doorstep—it knocked and tried but never crossed the threshold fully. You did that. You guarded your home; you saved yourself.

Today when I dropped in on you and saw shadows, they were not yet eclipsed. They came close by—that will happen when you have a certain amount of darkness pushing against a certain amount of light. I remember when there were no shadows, only darkness. I was relieved to see the shadows whilst there is some light.

There will always remain shadows—you must remember that.

I looked over you when the sharp stab of your rejector’s knife cut you, and you bled. I watched as the wound healed, and I see you reassuringly look at that scar from time to time—I am reassured that you know the value of that scar. That the value someone else didn’t see is set against your skin—a branded message, a survivor’s tale—that constant reminder that you were enough, but they were not enough.

That scar is sacred, it’s one of your most beautiful features. It’s self-love.

We laughed together throughout the pain. That’s always been something we had in common. The humility to laugh at the situation—you’ve always enjoyed the irony of a dark comedy. That dry humor has carried you through. Laughter has always been a medicine; I love the affinity you feel for the antihero.

I guess you could say I just wanted to check in today as I sensed it was needed. It’s okay even in our healing to need a check-in, to have a bad day, to wallow a little, to face a new fear, to overcome another hurdle, and to not always do it with grace. Doing things with grace is overrated anyway, who needs to be gracious when you are surviving?

I heard that your perfectionism was kicking in, that something sparked a mistrust in your outcome, that the universe was being questioned, and seeds of self-doubt were in your pocket. You didn’t plant them though—I’m proud that you didn’t. It’s fine to almost do something, to pull it back in the final hour. The seeds are dispersed now—thrown into the air for the winds to carry them far away from you. You did that, you made that choice. You won today.

And maybe every day there will be an almost, maybe some days there will be none, but each day you go on to fight another. That’s brave—you have always been brave, even when you didn’t think you were. Little battles won every day prevented the war, didn’t it? You know that.

I am going to let you go now. I won’t be far away but just wanted to check in and let you know I’m still here, sitting beside you—that even when you are alone, I am ever-present. For I am you, and you are me.

Take care of our heart.

Love, Me


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