What would the 53-year-old Marci want to say to the 17-year-old Marci?
Each week I ask this question of my “Permission to Heal” podcast guests and although their answers vary, most follow the same theme.
Most of us want to tell our younger selves that, despite all our anxiety and worrying about everything we think we want, it all works out well.
And, in most cases, we wasted a lot of time and energy worrying about things that were not relevant and didn’t matter anyway.
When I was a child and adolescent, I spent most of my time trying to be the daughter I thought my mother wanted. I tried to avoid and sidestep the things I thought would make her angry and bring out the Cruella de Vil side of her bipolar personality.
This people-pleasing trait of mine became dominant in my life and dictated the flow of most of my relationships: my mother, father, friends, and boyfriends.
The only way I felt worthy of affection, love, respect, and kindness from others was to do everything I could to make them happy—even if those choices ran contrary to what I wanted for myself and what would make me happy.
My happiness and comfort, in most cases, were beside the point. My mother told me that real love required sacrifice and I placed myself in the role of sacrificial lamb for everyone’s love.
If I could go back and tell my younger self anything, it would be that this dynamic doesn’t work at all. It is not and has never been my job, or even in my power, to make people happy. That happiness is up to them.
What little Marci needed to know was that she was worthy of love, respect, kindness, and affection just because she existed.
She was enough just as she was. She was innately enough and worthy and loveable. She should trust her inner knowing—that voice in her generous heart that whispers the truth.
Through finding stillness and listening to her inner knowing, she would learn what made her happy, what her authentic wishes and hopes were, and who she wanted in her life. All the tools she needed to create the beautiful life she desired were inside her all along.
We are human beings. We are lovable, worthy, and perfectly imperfect just as we are. Because we are.
We are not human doings.
Our worthiness is not linked to anything we do for others. It is not conditional on how we please others or perform.
Repeat after me: “I am enough. I am loveable, worthy, and perfectly imperfect just as I am. I am deserving of love, respect, kindness, and affection just for being me.”
If you say it softly enough to your generous heart, your inner knowing will recognize the words and they will ring true.