If I could write a letter to me

ImageBrad Paisley penned the song “Letter To Me.,” and I wondered what would a letter I wrote to my young self look like? What would I want to tell myself about who I would eventually be, what life would be at 51?

There were moments in my young life that I was uncertain that I wanted to see 51. I couldn’t imagine getting past the pain… I couldn’t imagine ever finding the tools that I would need to be able to work through some of the “stuff” life threw at me when I was too young to know how to deal with it. I don’t even know if I would have believed a letter penned from the future me, but if….. I did, I would want my young me to know;

Others inability to love me, isn’t all about me. Sometimes it is just about them. It took me forever to get clear on this simple truth. People cannot give what they do not have.. not matter who they are, and what role they should play in your world. Love anyway!!

Our history isn’t our whole story – – – all to often it is easy to assume that where we come from… what we survive…. the circumstances of our lives IS our lives… It is not. while it DOES define us, it is in our control whether that definition is positive or negative… it only becomes us, if we give it permission to.

Love comes in all kinds of packages – – – – Perhaps it does not come in the forms that we could have predicted. But, if we are willing to be open to it… vulnerable to it… and not paint it to look a certain way – – – it shows up in the most unexpected ways.

God instills in each of us.. our own beat. We are created uniquely. Celebrate your weirdness, your uniqueness, or eclecticism… even if no one else gets it in the beginning.. because as your world widens, you will find others that can sing your song back to you… their heart knows ever note… So many times I have felt God Whispers telling me to go left when everyone else was moving right.. and in those initial moments it didn’t make sense to go down a different path… but, when you are on the path.. it becomes crystal clear.

Forgive quickly – –  discern who to give second chances to, and who to allow to walk away. Not everyone is meant to be “forever friends”… don’t make them wrong, and don’t make yourself wrong. Learn from what the lessons are, and move on. be willing to prune “dead wood” you will harvest joy and peace in ways that not pruning can never produce.

Family is often times chosen. I have been amazed at who God has brought into my life to be what I needed, when I needed, when I remained open to the possibility. here at 51 there is nothing that I am missing… I have been mothered well, fathered brilliantly, sister-befriended in grace, brother-loved amazingly….. surrounded my love in ways that I could never have dreamed.

YOU and ONLY YOU are responsible for your own happiness. It is too much to expect someone else to be that for you. Do the hard work. Figure out what you want, and make it happen.

KNOW that you are enough.. at every stage, you are enough… even if others want to convince you other wise… It is a lie.. You are o.k. Those that love you, will know your heart and see your heart and cover you in grace as you move from strength to strength.

Your future kids will bring you more joy than you could ever imagine.. Your friends will consist of new and not so new, and those that have chosen to love you for a lifetime.

So to the young me. Hold on. The future is more brilliant than you could ever even have wished that it would be.. all the things that caused you pain early on.. worked themselves out.. and were replaced by joy, peace and amazing love.

Happy Birthday!!!

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