Hello Younger Me! Today is your birthday and I want to celebrate and honor you. You were meant to be here, know that for sure. I wasn't around yet, but let me tell you, I rejoice in the day you were born. You are the reason I am me. Actually, you are me- just older- but we'll get to that in a minute.
You are one tough cookie. Smart, too! You were given the burdens of your parents' pain. Burdens you never should have carried, but you did. You knew instinctively to help more, to try harder, to smile at the world and pretend everything was okay. (You have a beautiful smile, by the way even thought you aren't quite smiling in this photo here).
You did what was necessary for survival. I'm not sure how you knew all of that, but today I look at you and I am amazed! You... I... we... wouldn't be here today if you didn't know how to fight to survive.
We still use those survival skills from time to time, but don't worry about that. I have - older you has- been figuring out how to live in a world that is different; not as scary. Not as exhausting. And, guess what! You were right! You can grow up to be that person that you wished you had in your life- and you did. And that's where I come in- I am the older you that you wanted to give your pain a purpose. I am that you that you imagined could be.
I know it's hard to see right now because things are so inescapably difficult. You cry yourself to sleep at night because it seems as if your survival skills (you don't know to call them that yet) aren't working. You somehow know there is a God and you ask, no beg, Him for help. You can't yet see Him working all things together for good. You feel alone and lonely.
You struggle with feeling unlovable, too. Soon you will struggle even more... with self-hatred and a sense of extremely low-self worth. You will feel rejected, abandoned- as if you are downing in worthlessness.
Let me tell you, those feelings have nothing to do with you or who you are.
You see, kids are meant to face challenges in developmentally appropriate stages- where they can take the success and confidence of one stage and move on to the next. Think about how a child will learn how to crawl before he or she can walk, and so on. You wouldn't give a new born baby a steak and a bicycle and say, "Power up and ride, Baby!"
Well, this concept is true for all aspects of development- cognitive, mental, emotional, social, educational, and so on.
Some of the emotional and inter-relational developmental challenges you are facing are difficult even for adults who were able to reach the necessary preliminary foundational milestones. Basically, you are being handed level 10 challenges without even being trained at level 1. You are going to fail. And it's not your fault.
Be patient, Younger Me, one day we will go back and learn levels 1-9. We will understand why we do what we do. And we will have compassion on our self. We will learn to change our faulty programming in what is called "re-parenting." We will discover that we were fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of a God who loves us. We will have Aha! Moments, connect the dots, learn healthier coping skills and breathe a sigh of relief.
Later, you... yes, older you... will learn; I ... learned and am still learning and healing and growing. We will make sense of the past and put those old negative, self-defeating feelings behind us... for the most part, anyway.
We will learn to be comfortable in our own skin. Don't lose heart, Younger Me. We will make it- to half a century (!!!), at least. Maybe more. For sure, into eternity after our time in this world is over. Younger Me, I send you strength and peace and hope. Remember, you. are. loved.
What does your younger self need to hear from you today, my friends? Remember, you- you today and you of long ago- are loved with an eternal love. - M
Me "today." (not really today, but you know...)
What if this isn't the end of the world?
What if I am in the process of moving even closer to who I am meant to be?
What if things really do work out for the good?
What if there is a beautiful lesson here?
What if fiery trials actually refine souls?
What if I can and will get over this?
What if this is actually making me stronger?
What if my brain is lying to me when it says, "You can't survive this"?
What if there is a bigger picture and things I just don't know yet?
What if there really is beauty for ashes?
What if I believe that God is Who He says He is?
What if it really does take longer for the heart to understand what the head already knows?
What if I'm going to look back on this in 5 years and laugh?
What if this is actually saving me from something far worse?
What if I will help someone one day because I have walked this road?
Give yourself permission to consider the "what ifs," my friends. What if hope is waiting in the midst? Be healed. Be loved. You are loved, Beloved.
photo credit: pixabay
Healing is a funny thing. Not funny ha-ha, but funny weird. You ride the roller coaster from hell, sit with your feelings, practice your healthy coping skills and work on creating your "cohesive narrative," whatever that is.
Then, one day it happens.
The beautiful, magnificient "ah!" Moment that appears as a thought or an insight... a lesson learned... a spark of joy amidst the sadness. A ray of hope for the future. This is typically what might be referred to as the Acceptance phase of the grieving process.
Granted, it's not a warm fuzzy "Gee, I'm glad that horrible thing happened in my life becuase now I'm ________ (stronger / have better boundaries/ more equipped to help others...)" feeling.
No. It's more like, "Gee, that horrible thing happened in my life and it almost took me out. I have scars to prove it. [Yes, the emotional ones count- maybe more so.] But in surviving ____________ (here's where you put in your terrible life event), I discovered that ______________ (here's where you get to celebrate your victory/ lesson / newfound strength/ etc.)!"
It's a "beauty for ashes" thing. That sounds really nice in a blog, or on a card, or as a meme, but the reality of "beauty for ashes" involves an inferno- a hell of some sort- that we survied in order to receive the beauty.
That part isn't so much fun. I get it. (sigh)
Yes, life is filled with heartache and trails. But, it is also filled with healing, hope and joy. Sometimes we have to sift through the charred debris to that happy stuff... to find meaning in our suffering... to give purpose to our pain.
But finding the treasure is worth it.
By now, you know I am a bit of a snail when it comes to healing. I'm not sure if it's an INFJ thing or an HSP thing. Wait, is "INFJ" really that different from "HSP"? Probably not.
Anyway, I do take my time in grieving. I won't say it's "a long time" because everyone grieves and heals at their own pace. It's a unique- dare I say lonely?- process. And, my time is my time.
But, when I'm done, I'm done.
How about you? Have you discovered the hidden gems of pain and sorrow? Have you found a renewed ability to persevere? A tenderness or insight for helping the broken?
I hope you have. If you have not, remember: you have not yet. Keep searching. Keep healing. Those gems are there.
We are in this human thing together, my friends! Much love.
Photo credit: http://www.powerpackedpromises.com
The Motley Ms.
Hi! My name is Melinda. I'm a saved-by-grace-er, lifelong learner, INFJ, health & fitness trynabe, Mom, #vanlifer, mental health vlogger, and Director & Clinical Supervisor at a Child & Family Therapy Practice in Northern California.
The Motley Ms
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