Monday, August 27, 2012

Dear Me

Writing has been a lifeline since Dave died.

Once I started my personal blog, writing every morning right after I awoke became a ritual I depended on. Writing was how I figured out how I felt. Verbalizing it made it tangible and sometimes uncovered feelings I hadn't realized I'd had.

I realized that by writing on a blog I'd become for other people the kind of lifeline that I'd depended on in the beginning and that was healing too.

To get even more healing out of this writing magic, I found a women's memoir writing group in my new city and began sharing my writing in a circle of supportive, talented women. I didn't think writing could bring me more gifts than it already had, but the gifts just multiplied.

Now, I host a women's writing group in my home every week and it brings me so much fulfillment.
Last week, the prompt was - What would your older self write to your present self in a letter? I wrote to this prompt as though I was actually channeling an older me. I didn't have to think. The words flowed out of me without restraint. The result was self-love I didn't know I possessed.

I feel like sharing it with you here because of all the writing I've done since Dave died, this one felt the most powerful and healing. Maybe you might like to try it yourself. I think it will surprise you. I certainly didn't expect it to be as illuminating as it was.

Dear younger me:

I want you to listen carefully. It doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter what you look like or smell like or sound like or dress like. 

It matters how much you love. 

But don’t love just anyone, honey. Love someone who makes you better than you would be without him or her. Love someone who makes you laugh until you pee. Love someone who thrills you and teaches you and honors you. Love someone who shares him or herself with you without hesitation. 

Don’t waste your time with the people who don’t love you back or who hurt you even though they love you. You can love them from afar but don’t let them stop you from living fully. Don’t let anyone get in your way. 

You know all those times you worried about what you said and how it might be the final straw that would turn that person away from you? Remember all those times you thought people would see right through your facade right down to the dark, selfish, ignorant, judgey, small and petty you? 

Oh, honey, don’t you know by now? You are worthy regardless. Every part of you and every cell of you is worthy and wonderful and the reason you sometimes feel so critical of others is because it’s YOU you’re so critical of. It’s just your own self-hate directed outward. Love yourself and and you’ll see good stuff in everyone else too. 

We’re all connected. The tiny 82 year old lady next door whose husband died when she was 50, the man in unit number 3 whose wife is clearly in the end stages of cancer or some other horrible disease. The gorgeous Greek guy who owns the restaurant on the corner and twinkles those blue eyes at you and makes you nervous and forget how to talk. The crazy hairstylist who channels old Chinese men. The beautiful, multifaceted women who come to your house to write each week. We find each other and we need each other and we’re all connected. We’re all worthy, faults and all. 
Remember what your beloved friend said to you? He said “I love you, bat-shit crazy and all”. 

That’s what I’m talking about, darling. That.

Remember to take good care of yourself, sweet pea. You have been through so much and your job now is to learn to give yourself what you need. The naps, the massages, the time to sit and think and cry. The chance to travel and meet new people and breathe and stop racing around trying to be better better better. 

If you can learn to give yourself that, you will make this loss a little less awful because something beautiful has arisen from its ashes. When you do, once again, find your days filled with work and possibly even a family, you might have the mindset of self-care a little more programmed in if you work on it now. 

Give yourself a chance honey. You deserve it. 

No one can take better care of you than you. Even if some wonderful man is worthy of your love and you find him, he can’t give you everything you need. You’ll need to pull from other sources to get all your needs met. The biggest source of all, the best source, hon, is you. 
Also, don’t go around so scared to lose. It’s something that will keep on happening. You can live in fear of it or not, and it’ll keep on happening. So then you’ve got loss and fear. Why have both? 

Live as fearlessly as you can. Walk right into the inevitable loss. There’s a whole lot of beauty along that road. And the loss? Well, you’ll survive it. Of course you will.

You’ll be very scared. Just remember to act anyway. Each time you do something that scares you, you’ll be a little stronger. You’ll build that courage muscle. Just treat yourself after you’ve done it. It’s a lot of work. I know it is. 

I know your core and I know you’ll be just fine. Just let in the love and light and do what scares you. Live and live and live until you fade away. You only have this one chance. Don’t ever forget that sweetheart.


  1. Not only can no one take better care of you than you, but I believe only you can take care of you. Every little thing you do ...the naps and massages and time to reflect and writing...will help you in healing. Do what works for you. Your writing is so positive, Cassie, I will definitely try this exercise. Thank you.

    “The most important purpose of life is to seek happiness.” Dalai Lama

  2. LOVE this! It is so real and so deep. I can't think of a better way to tell yourself how special you really are.

  3. beautiful,beautiful, beautiful

  4. I love this. Such a great idea.

  5. Oh. my. god. Beautiful, SO very beautiful.