While this isn’t a new concept, when I saw a post on Elizabeth Gilbert’s Facebook page today (click the link to see a beautiful example she shared) about writing letters to ourselves to heal what Brene Brown calls our “art scars”, I felt an overwhelming nudge to do the same. For me, there isn’t another person that I look back on as having caused any creativity scars or a specific person that discouraged me along the road.
I think more than anything, I was my own road block to my passions and dreams. Sadly from a very young age I told myself the lies many of us tell ourselves– I’m not good enough, talented enough, smart enough, beautiful enough, rich enough, and the list goes on and on. This ties in so much with a short story allegory I just wrote for the Masters Review Anthology V Contest. (Which is the reason for my absence the last several weeks! I’ve been working like a mad woman to complete two short stories for three different contests. I’m so very sorry my few but precious followers!) What I wrote about in the allegory pertains to the lies that we believe about ourselves and subsequently allow to pull us into that deep dark place called depression, loneliness, and bitterness. I hope very much to share that story with you at some point, but I digress.
So, Ms. Gilbert and world, here is what I would write to myself:
Dear Creative Me,
Where do I even start? I would like to apologize for so many, many things. I’m sorry I didn’t give you the time of day. I thought you weren’t good enough, creative enough, or intelligent enough to make anything real or worthwhile. I believed all the lies within myself and straight from the mouth of Evil, whispering worthlessness and doubt into our heart.
I’m sorry that I allowed unkind, horrible relationships into your life, letting them shroud your goodness in a world of hurt, betrayal, and soul-sickness. It didn’t have to be that way. Though you made your own choices, I wish so much that I could’ve spared you. I should’ve saved you. I should’ve escaped, but I didn’t know how. Hindsight, as they say, is twenty-twenty, and I had neither the strength nor maturity to see how your involvement with those that didn’t believe in you and used you was sucking the self-worth and confidence to do great things right out of you.
I’m sorry for not recognizing and legitimizing sooner the dreams and goals you had in your heart to write. I didn’t take you seriously, and therefore took you on a career path that led somewhere else, believing again lies like– you can’t really be a writer! That doesn’t work out for people like you!
Lastly, if I may, some advice: Writing is your God-given passion, hold tight to it. Do not allow anything past, present, or future to take the joy you find in writing. You do have something to share with the world. Never give up on that. There have been and will be naysayers, but close your ears to them. God will use your writing in ways past and present-me can only imagine. Listen instead to that still small voice saying– you are loved, you have what it takes, you belong, now go, do what you were born to do.
Live on with a clean, focused heart and mind, Precious One.
Thanks for the opportunity to share my heart this morning! What would you write? What letter, either from a person or yourself, would you write today? I’d love to know.
*photo credit freedigitalphotos.net by Simon Howden