Dear Diana

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I love the way Cheryl Strayed writes. When I read her book, Tiny Beautiful things, it ripped my soul out and healed me in so many ways. Some that I can explain, some that I cannot. One of my favorite parts of that book is when she writes a letter to her 20 year old self. It was my inspiration to write my own letter. My hope is when you read my words you will feel your own stories. I would love to hear yours.

“If I told you that you would waste most of your twenties running away from yourself by trying to hide would you be the person you are today?   Or would you become the person you are meant to become? The answer that I feel pulsing inside my belly is a resounding no. No, I am certain of this answer just like I am certain that the soul lives on.   Neither of these I can prove, like many truths. If I told you the answers to your life would you get out of it without making mistakes? The answer is no again and so I say carry forgiveness inside a locket around your neck and when you feel scared and when you feel  like a failure open up that locket and let the word forgiveness wash over you until it lands inside your body and you can feel it. Let yourself cry, over and over and over again. Pray for guidance and have the guts to listen with no agenda. Your heart won’t be rational, follow your heart anyway.  Learn how to hold yourself gently because you will hide so many times and one day you will realize that each time you do it, you will break your own heart. Know that you can heal from this. I wish I could tell you a list of things to do to keep you away from the pain of not one but many broken hearts, but I won’t because I will tell you that you are strong and you are stubborn and broken hearts are your ways to freedom and new life.    Wear a second locket around your neck and label it pain. The best advice I can tell you is to feel yours, yes your pain because your denial of it will waste more 20 years of your precious life. Feel everything. Embrace the triggers, they will be your greatest teachers. Sit in silence, listen for your voice and once you find it, use it. In your 30’s you will punch a man that you have been calling your lover and he will punch you back.  The choice to stay it that relationship will almost kill you both. Leave before you are ready. In an attempt to numb the pain of that experience you will use drugs, one being meth, you will hate yourself when you look at yourself in the mirror. Don’t give up on yourself. You will find a way out of this so don’t be afraid to tell your story. You will feel like less than a woman because you won’t be interested or gifted in caregiving, cooking or mothering or any of the things you tell yourself a good woman does.  You will feel like a complete failure as a girlfriend, and a wife and you will throw yourself into your work because that is where you will find your life-force. You are no less of a woman because of this. Do something that will leave the world a better place. Create art. Sing at the top of your lungs. Spend time in nature. Dance. Do not sell your soul for a life of comfort. Do not leave by anyone’s advice, no one will know what you need more than you. Feel for your answers. Be the mother of your own soul. Forgive your father faster than you want to.  Marry yourself first. Always be ready. Hold tight to your soul and let everything else go. “