I was recently working with the ladies I do group coaching with on the topic around self love. It’s a theme we picked for the month of May. It was something that a lot of us in the group struggle with, so it seemed like an easy pick of a theme to cover.
I am not going to lie, it was a tough month. Lots of tough conversations that allowed us to really pause, reflect and dig in. It was a much harder topic than I think we thought it would be.
One of the first exercises I challenged the group and myself to complete, was writing a letter to your 18 year old self. The idea was that today, in this moment, you have more clarity, knowledge and experience then you probably did back then. So what would you say to your younger self? What pep talk would you give?
I did the exercise myself. I choose to speak to the 18 year old version of me, prior to her getting pregnant. I pictured her freshly graduated from high school, ready to take on the world, having NO idea what was ahead of her. I thought it would be helpful to share this letter with all of you in hopes that maybe you would try the exercise yourself. It was a pretty special moment for me to say the very least. So here it is!
Dear 18 Year Old Pamela,
Where do I even begin? You girl, are made of grit. You are a scrappy, and sometimes stubborn, young lady. If someone tells you no, you most likely will do it anyway. Fear of failing or not. You’re always attempting to prove them wrong.
I know you are still holding onto something pretty heavy and I know it hurts. Someone that “loves you” said some pretty disrespectful things to you as a young girl and you hold onto them. You keep those words pretty close to your heart.
Let me tell you, who THEY think you will end up being, it’s not true. Don’t let them take up that space in your heart, your mind or your journey. They are not worth the energy you are giving them.
I bring this up because it has been a part of the narrative in your life that has created a limiting belief that you should be ashamed of your life. That you are not worthy of love. You have been holding on to this for years. It’s time to let it go.
I am here to tell you that instead of using that moment as a definition of who you might be one day, instead use it as the fire and strength you need to dig deep into proving who you are DETERMINED to become.
Girl, you are going to move mountains. Not just one mountain, multiple mountains.
You are going to have some hard stuff happen. You are going to learn lessons from every single one of them. Believe it or not, you are building a version of you that one day will become a platform to speak to women all over the country and help them become their best versions of themselves.
Yes, you read that right. People are going to look to you for support and guidance. Crazy right?!
Now let me tell you a little secret. I’m not supposed to, but we’re friends, right?
One day you’re going to be a mama to three beautiful, strong, kindhearted girls. I am not going to tell you their age range, because you’ll never believe me, AND, you need some sense of surprise, but you’re doing a good job with them mama. Believe me you are.
Listen to me here for a minute. People are going to try to talk you into following them down some pretty bad paths. Those paths are going to look EASY, even maybe “safer”. I am here to tell you, no to beg you, do not listen to them. Promise me you will always take the harder path. Always. I promise, you won’t regret it.
It won’t be until much later in life that you will learn that the things that happen in life are in fact not “just meant to be.” It won’t be until you are in your late thirties you will realize that life actually happens for you, not to you. And that every obstacle and challenge that you face are all lessons with a greater purpose. Every lesson that you have learned is helping to build a foundation that you will stand proudly on because YOU built it. That foundation, that is thanks to YOUR hard work.
Now the question I am sure you are wondering is, if I had to do it all over again, the same EXACT way, struggles, obstacles, hardships, all the hurt, and the pain, would I do it again?
The answer is…….
I absolutely would. I would do it all over again, exactly the same way so that I could find myself in the place that I am right here, right now.
When you get to this place, this version of us that is writing this letter, when you see us in this space, girl, I promise you, you are going to be so proud. You won’t believe the warrior you are. You won’t believe how far we’ve come.
Girl, just keep being you. Unapologetically you.
Continue your journey to be the best version of YOU, unapologetically.