I got the idea for this from a blog I came across. You can actually find tons of these online. So let’s just say I can’t take credit for the idea and move on. What would you say if you wrote a letter to yourself when you were 16?
Here’s mine. Letter to My 16-year-old Self:
First of all, I want you to know you are not alone. Your hurt is real and your feelings are valid and important. Please don’t feel like no one understands because that’s not the case. This life gets lonely but the absolute truth is you are never alone.
I wish I could tell you that things are going to get easier. I wish I could tell you that pain in your chest goes away soon and that the weight on your shoulders gets lighter. But I can’t.
What I can tell you is that you have so many beautiful things ahead of you. You have so much yet to experience. The things you think you know will be challenged and you will grow. You will learn so much in the next few years, and you will change for the better. You will become a better daughter, sister, and friend. Your view of the world will change radically and you’ll learn to love and appreciate diversity as well as the things that unify humanity.
Unfortunately your deep sadness won’t go away forever. It will come back and there will be long seasons in your life when you can’t shake the despair. But you will be stronger each time you face the darkness. You are a fighter, did you know that? And not only are you a fighter but you will be surrounded by people who love you and will stand beside you and fight with you. And I believe you will come out on top in the end.
As much as it hurts me to tell you this, you are going to do many things you said you’d never do. You’ll cross lines you shouldn’t and you’ll say things you wish you hadn’t. But you’ll also learn a lot about forgiveness and redemption. Most importantly, you will learn how to forgive yourself.
Relationships don’t get any easier. Some people, no matter how much you love them, won’t understand you or your struggles. And sadly, you’ll wake up one day and realize that you’ve lost several friends. And it will feel like it’s your fault but I promise it is not all your fault.
The things that will get you through your darkest moments will be your heavenly Father, his Son and the Spirit that lives inside of you. Other things that keep you going are your loved ones, music, and the pursuit of truth and honesty. Stay grounded as best you can and rely on these people and things to help you along the way.
I know when you are struggling that the end seems enticing. But giving up is NOT an option. Your pain is not your fault and you are not what you’ve done. You are made new and clean each day that is given to you. The past will never really leave you, but you cannot dwell on it. It will leave you paralyzed. Do not look to the future and fear what is to come. But instead live fully, taking in each moment and being present in everything.
When you feel like you cannot go on any longer and the pain feels like more than you can handle, get help. You are not meant to walk this journey on your own. Do not be afraid to admit your weaknesses and allow others to strengthen you.
Finally, be true to who you are. Honesty will be your best friend. Embrace it, and be real. A genuine heart is a rare find and it will be a comfort to others.
Know you are loved, and never forget it.