I had a teacher once that gave me a homework assignment that I will never forget. She said, “Write a goodbye letter to yourself.”  She instructed me to say goodbye to the life I thought I would have so that I could live the life that I actually already had. Here’s the thing: I never did the homework. If you asked me why then I would tell you that I avoided the question like I avoided homework in general.

Many years had passed and I never forgot the assignment. It wouldn’t leave me alone.  It would come to me in certain moments and it would stop me in my tracks. I always thought of it as both brilliant and important and yet… I still hadn’t done it. Until last year.

I had a moment where I was sick of myself - not in bitterness, but in pain. My teacher, Baron Baptiste would say, “When the pain gets painful enough you will stop.”  It was actually just like that. I had repeated the same painful pattern again. This time I was on on my knees. Well… actually I was in my car while it was parked in my driveway, but you get the point. My fist hit the steering wheel and I thought of that letter that I never wrote. As I thought of it I allowed myself to cry. I cried and then I wrote that letter.   

I said goodbye to myself - not all of me, just one part. This part is deeply personal and painful and covered in shame. I said goodbye the moment I said hello, the moment I acknowledged and took responsibility for how I had been hurting myself. I let go of blame and went into my shame and found the wound. I wept and I forgave myself for not recognizing my worth. I saw how I had repeatedly not chosen myself. In the letter I wrote about how I had sabotaged myself again and again and what the pattern had looked like.

From that moment on, I made a vow to choose the opposite. I would choose myself. For me, it was a moment where I felt my power come back to me. I believe so fiercely in the power of that letter and I believe we all have a letter.

It’s time. Grab a pen. Grab your journal. Write the letter and reclaim your power.