12-year old me used to dream of the life I have now at every moment of every day.
It makes me feel sad for her
I didn’t spend all day dreaming because I was excited about my future
It was because I wanted to be anyone else but who I was in that moment
I felt like everything that could be wrong with my life was wrong
I felt detached from my body. Like I was going through the motions but not really there.
From my perspective, I felt like everyone around me had it easier than I did
I made up stories about how my life would be so much better if I could take bits and pieces from other people’s lives, looks, and circumstances and make them my own
When I was 12, a part of my soul was lost
I didn’t feel joy often (unless I was eating)
I didn’t feel a sense of belonging
I didn’t like who I was
I made up lies about my life to make me feel better
And the real me became buried under insecurities and fears
When I was 18 I rejected this little girl
I took control and tried to make myself perfect
I stopped eating, worked tirelessly in the gym, made sure I got straight A’s in school
I did anything I could to vanish her from my memory
I wanted her to never have existed
But she always found a way to make her presence known
Whether it was through body dysmorphia
Deep insecurities that no one likes me
Whispers of her voice telling me I’ll never be good enough
Saying yes to people and relationships that matched my sense of self worth
Constantly being in fight or flight mode
Smoking weed every night to cover up my feelings
Needing validation from other people to make me feel worthy
It wasn’t until I was 24 that I was able to begin to witness her
To stop exiling her from my life
And even when I finally let her be heard again, there was a part of me that was terrified that if I accepted that she’s there that my life would fall apart again
But I knew I had no choice.
Because even with everything on the outside looking right, nothing on the inside ever changed until I learned to love her again.
At 26-years old I speak to my 12-year old self regularly
When I’m triggered in an old pattern, I ask her what she needs
When I feel like no one understands me or could possibly help me, I imagine myself holding her
When I want to binge eat, or smoke to numb out, or seek validation from others, I’m there to support her and help her feelings be heard
When I learn to love the parts of me that were exiled, I can feel me coming home to myself
I can feel my body settle down
My breath grows deeper
Old habits I used to numb myself out are no longer needed
I feel genuine inner peace
My confidence grows stronger
My self-love feels real. It's not just some words on paper.
And with self-love, I can do, feel, and become everything I want to be
And truly feel deserving of all of that and more.
I love you little me. And I will never leave you behind again.