The first posts were written, our domain purchased, and we sent out our little blog into the world with optimism. We celebrated Mother’s Day, and I turned my thoughts to the next post.
The more I thought about writing to mothers, the more I realized I couldn’t do it. To quote Theodore Roosevelt again, I couldn’t “point out how the doer of deeds could [do] them better” when I’ve never been a mother myself, or give encouragement as a peer when I’m not even twenty.
I started to think that maybe I should write to a slightly younger audience. I remembered needing motivational pep talks throughout my teenage years and thought that maybe there was something there I could write that would make a difference.
I began reading through my old journals. (I knew I kept them for a reason!) It was incredibly insightful to see what I had written over the years. I read entries that I remembered well — events and experiences that seemed fresh in my memory as I deciphered my old, dashed-off handwriting. But I also read things that I had not remembered writing.
I was floored by what I had written when I was only eleven years old.
I was beginning to transition from being a child to being a teenager. I was entering social circles where I was unsure where I belonged. I was starving for acceptance from my peers. I felt awkward around boys and just wanted to know if I was beautiful. I desperately wanted validation.
I believe that each of us is still, to a degree, every age we’ve ever been. We all still have a little eleven-year old inside of us hungering for love and affection. And so, for each of us, I wrote this letter.
To my eleven-year old self,
I see you. I remember you well.
You’re in such a special, significant stage of life. You’re not sure who you are or who you want to be. With so many voices shouting at you to become this or that, you’ve never been more confused or felt more afraid.
You have such a strong spirit. You have so many dreams. You want to step into this world and let your light shine brightly. But you’re also afraid of being hurt. You desperately need validation, and you’re not sure where to find it. Here it is now:
You are important. People draw on your light and strength. If you were to disappear today, countless people would mourn your loss and wish for you to come back. Don’t ever doubt how valued you are.
You are accepted. You are enough. You don’t need to be anything more today than you already are. That doesn’t mean that you don’t keep trying to become better; it just means that you are already enough to meet the challenges of the day.
You are beautiful. You may not always feel that way, and there will never be a time in your life when you will feel beautiful 100% of the time. But even more important than your physical beauty is your spiritual beauty. A kind soul is much more beautiful to those who are looking for kindness than any model or superstar.
You are loved. You are worthy of love. Nothing you can do can change how worthy of love you are.
You have a place in this world. Just keep moving forward, one step at a time, and you will find it.
Find your Savior. He is your greatest friend and guide. When He looks at you, you are His entire world. When He sees you, you are all that matters. He will never abandon you.
I wish I could go back in time and give you a big hug. You’re going through a lot right now, but I promise that it will all be worth it.
Your Future Self
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