Dear 9 year old me,
For years I felt terrible that you experienced such pain and loss when your biological father up and left forever. It took you many years to understand that it was not your fault. But at the tender age of nine, you did not realize that his abandonment was not a reflection of you, but rather him. Your relationship with men began to feel distorted. Your heart was tender, broken and confused. More than anything you wanted to be loved unconditionally. The void was huge.
Dear 17 year old me,
Your quest for unconditional love led you to fall for an illusion. What appeared to be warm and loving was only a cover for cruel and soul shattering. Yes, more pain and heartbreak. I won’t deny that your life took a turn into a dark, cold and scary road to nowhere. Your life continued to be a downward spiral. What were supposed to be sacred relationships proved to be more of the same experiences that you endured earlier in your childhood. Yes, you were repeating patterns. But how could you know that? You were young, vulnerable, misguided and still looking for unconditional love.
Dear 20 year old me,
Hot mess. That pretty much sums up your early twenties. Your life continued to be hard. By twenty you were both a mom and a wife. A terribly unhappy wife, I might add. I vividly remember the plan that you came up with to run away to Miami all by yourself on your wedding day. Obviously, your soul knew that marrying him, was very much out of alignment with your true self. But you chose to ignore your inner knowing and stepped into a life that felt nothing like your own. Let’s not sugar coat it, the frequent beatings were hell and his words degrading.
Despite those very dark times, your baby brought you the most joy that you had ever experienced in your entire life. Fortunately, you’ve never been one to stay stuck for too long. You courageously decided to complete the cycle of abuse both for yourself and for your beautiful baby.
Yes, you could have taken your time to get to know yourself better and to clearly define your desires for the future. But the kindest love that you had ever been exposed to, presented itself in a very serendipitous way. His sweet essence captured your heart. His wounds were similar to yours and that somehow helped you feel understood. You were kindred spirits. Watching him be so loving with your baby filled your heart. Unconditional love was revealing itself. Before you knew it, a new family was formed and a precious baby girl arrived.
Dear 30 year old me,
With the arrival of baby number three, this time a beautiful boy, you became grounded in motherhood. You wanted to nurture your kids in a way that you had not been. You chose to leave your corporate job so you could be home with your babies and raise them yourself. You knew that you would somehow find a way to financially contribute to your household. And you did. Some said that you sacrificed your career to be a mom. I say that you chose not ignore the voice of your higher self. Clearly, Brenda, you knew that a brilliant future was in store for you. A future that did not require to go along with someone else’s flow.
Many of the wounds of the past were beginning to heal. You aligned with books, mentors and coaches that helped you uncover and become more of the real you and less of the you that was driven by fear and survival. You started to awaken to words like, “worthy, abundance, self-love, and desires”. You began to blossom. In your thirties, your life began to transform.
Dear 40 year old me,
Some say you’re a late bloomer. I say your timing has always been perfect. The kids have grown up and evolved into kind and productive young people. You’ve poured into their souls and it shows. You and your love are now both forty-somethings and blissfully rediscovering and reconnecting with the next layer of your being, individually and collectively. It’s an empowering time in your life, full of truth, purpose and alignment.
So much has changed and yet the biggest change has been the relationship with yourself. You figured out that receiving love from others is totally amazing. Yet, it is you who can love yourself unconditionally. Ahh, the power of self-love.
Brenda, remember the future self that you connected with for the first time in your thirties? Well, it’s time to be her.
To all of my younger selves, a deep and grateful thank you.