Dear little Leah,
You are not bad.
It was not your fault when the adults around you argued. You were not responsible for their feelings. You must not hold yourself responsible.
You are not stupid because you got B and C grades in a school where most people got straight As. That doesn’t make you stupid. Can you understand that? Can you see that?
You are not crap at sports just because you didn’t get along with cross country, athletics or hockey. They were not your sports and you were never encouraged or nurtured by your sports teachers.
Having a fiery side does not make you evil. You are not the odd one out, the bad egg, the mistake, the trouble maker or any of those other things you thought you were.
It wasn’t fair when people told you that it would be a brave man who dated you. Brave to take you on because you were wild and temperamental. I know that hurt a lot, but it wasn’t the truth.
Enjoying being on your own a lot doesn’t make you defective. There’s nothing there to fix. You’re someone who feels a lot and takes a lot in - both the good and the bad. That can be tiring. It’s ok to be ok with being alone.
Dear little Leah,
You are such a good person. You are so passionate and you care so much about the world. You are gentle and kind and compassionate. You’re also cheeky, spirited, playful and full of energy. You want so much to encourage others to be all they can be. Those things are good things.
There’s no need to hide from or reject the fire inside you. You love to write and you’re good with words. You love the skies and the hills and the forests and the seas. Being in those places makes you happy. You have such a good heart and you have so much to share with the people and world around you.
Your beliefs drive your behaviour and your results
Your beliefs drive your actions and behaviour. Your actions and behaviour determine your results. Most of us are operating out of false beliefs. Beliefs about being stupid, not good enough, not worthy. Or too this or too that. And on and on.
It’s not enough to keep pushing yourself blindly onwards. It’s not enough to simply keep telling yourself to believe in yourself and be nicer to yourself. You have to become conscious of the beliefs driving your behaviour. Until you become conscious of those beliefs, they'll continue to drive your behaviour.
You might be able to override them sometimes or for a length of time. But sooner or later you’ll return to your default beliefs. Because until you examine them they'll be the unconscious and false truth you automatically operate from.
Uncovering the beliefs that make up your self image can be painful, but ultimately liberating. As you become conscious of them, you can hold them up to the light and, from your new adult perspective, see how they’re not true. How they were never true but that you’ve simply carried them with you all this time.
Until those beliefs are uncovered and challenged, you'll always limit or sabotage yourself in some way. How can you live into your personal potential whilst carrying a belief that you’re stupid? How can you ever have the relationship you so desire whilst carrying a belief that you’re too wild and temperamental for any man to handle and that you’re lucky if someone even attempts to enter into a relationship with you? Nope, not happening.
The terribly annoying thing about true success, in whatever way you want to define it, is that it requires you to do the work. It requires you to go to the dark places, the wounded places, the hurt places inside yourself. Blindly marching on will get you so far. You can achieve some success that way. But it won't ever be everything you're capable of.
With a lot of love and compassion...
Dear little [insert your own name here] - now it’s your turn.
Love and courage,