I’ve been thinking a lot about that little girl I used to be. Most of you know my story – some of you probably think ‘but it was so long ago!- why is she still so hung up on it?’ yeah I get it. But, unless you were a child who was constantly stigmatised by her/his peers it can be difficult to understand the lasting impression that it leaves on you. Every bit of doubt about myself has come from those years as a child. Every time I used to look in the mirror and not like my reflection or think that I was about 10 kilos heavier than I really was. Every time I panicked when I got on a scale and saw it had gone up, all of that and more was because of that child who got bullied. I think a lot about the advice my parents used to give me. They really meant well, they love me so much but I really don’t think that what they told me helped at the time, which was often along the lines of “the boys only tease you because they like you”. I often think about what I would have told myself if I could go back in time and have a conversation with my younger self. And so awhile back on my healing journey I decided to write myself a letter and tell my younger self the advice that I would have wanted to hear. Perhaps it wouldn’t have helped at the time – the kids would have still teased me- but it might have reminded me that there’s more to life than how you look and what others think about you. Writing a letter to that child was extremely helpful for me. It helped close a time in my life that lingered on for far too long. I highly recommend anyone who has something that they carry with them from childhood to do the same. Give your younger self some grown-up advice and get it off your chest. This is such an important tool for anyone who still struggles with things they carry with them from when they were younger. I want to share with you this letter, hopefully it gives you some inspiration to do the same, or perhaps you have a child that is going through the same thing and might find it helpful. Thanks for reading.
Dear Michelle, I’m sorry that circumstances are the way they are for you. No one should have to feel afraid to go to school. No one should be reduced to tears just having to think about it. I want you to know that the tears are justified. These kids ARE mean. They see you as an easy target, but really just have low self esteem themselves, which is why they pick on you. They tease you to try to feel better about themselves. First of all, I want you to know that you won't feel like this forever. What if I told you that one day you’ll travel around the world? Italy, Ireland, New Mexico and New Zealand is just the start! You’ll see things you’d never dream of and you’ll be brave and confident and strong travelling all alone. What if I told you that High School will be AWESOME! You’ll make some amazing friendships that will last you a lifetime and later, you will graduate with honours from some pretty awesome universities and will love every minute of living on your own. You’ll have more friends than you can count and no one will care how you look or what you weigh. What if I told you that one day you’d move to New Zealand (I know!) and marry a super handsome man who will take care of you and make you feel loved every day? What if I told you one day you’d have the courage to leave your job and start your own business? That you’ll be a successful entrepreneur following your bliss and loving what you do? You’ll be surrounded by the most amazing friends and support people who will life you up more every day. I also want to tell you, that those boys that teased you – they are insignificant in your life now. You can’t even remember their names and I’m sure they can’t remember yours as well. Many of those girls you compared yourself to? They got married, divorced, had kids and are stuck in jobs they don’t even enjoy. Many of them have ordinary lives and are probably happy, but yours – yours will be extraordinary and you will get opportunities to really make changes. Dear little girl. You are loved so much. Your family loves you, your teachers love you, your friends love you. You have so many positive traits – you’re funny (always making your friends laugh), you’re kind to everyone – even the mean ones- and go out of your way to help animals. You’re intelligent and do really well in school and are a gifted artist. Every day you give of yourself to others. It’s too bad you can’t see how brightly you shine from inside. Lastly, I want you to know that this will pass, and know your future self loves you and everything you’ll become. Let those tears flow, they are temporary – release them and know your life is about to become amazing. Love, Me.