Dear Me: You are enough.

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Be patient with yourself. The healing will come as you do the work and show up for yourself. I know some days that is really hard because you have a little one who needs so much of you but you’ve been through this before, it will get easier. Babies grow up into toddlers, then preschoolers and then five-year-olds with no patience who can do so much without your help but still need you to be the audience to their big imaginations. Then they will be 12-year-olds who know so much and have such big ideas for their lives but still want game nights and bear hugs and to show off their newest pieces of artwork, and still ask permission to put on nail polish. Then will come 19, so ready to leave the nest and live on their own but still bringing home their laundry on weekends to be washed.

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This new baby will grow up too and all too quickly you will wonder where the small, helpless babe at your breast has gone. You will regain some degree of freedom as he stretches his legs and learns to let go of your hand but the freedom comes at the cost of your sweet babe growing up so try not to rush it. Enjoy your afternoons of rocking together, his head curled tight against your chest, his newborn smell still filling your nostrils for time steals these precious moments away and fades the memories to dull aches of longing for more of those quiet uninterrupted afternoons of just dozing and rocking.

The healing will happen but there’s no need to rush it at the expense of this time with your little one. Don’t let the guilt of unwashed dishes, large piles of laundry and consecutive nights of boxed meals interfere with your healing for it’s in the raw quiet moments that you can let everything go, all the years of pain, disappointment, anger that has built up like uric acid in aching joints so that even when all is well your brain is plaguing you with anxiety and worry, wondering when it will all fall apart, just like last time and the time before that.

I have something really important to tell you, it doesn’t have to be like last time ever again.

You are learning better ways, you are finding your voice, creating your own path to a new future where you will be doing what you want to do and providing for your family while doing it. Right now is just a temporary bump in the road while you nurture and love the newest member of the family in the way that works best for you while navigating your demons from the past and not letting them get a foothold in the present, no matter how hard they might try.

You are stronger than you have ever been but when you are feeling weak know that you are surrounded by people ready and willing to lift you up and remind you that you are enough just as you are and it will be enough to accomplish everything you want to. You just need to reach out to them, they will remind you of your worth when you have forgotten.

And it’s okay to cry. It’s safe now. You’re safe now. You are loved and held. Space has been made for you to release all that pain you hold so tight like an armour around you, keeping everyone out. You don’t have to do that anymore. Let the pain and anger that poisons your soul flow out of you, let the tears come and let them cleanse you. In that cleansing you will be reborn, stronger, more beautiful and with a trust in yourself and your abilities that you can only imagine right now. Let the floodgates open, let the ink on the page be smudged with your tears and know that you are strong and you are more than enough just as you are right now. The tears are just a really long overdue cleansing.

Love yourself, because that’s important too. You are worthy of your own attention. You do not need permission from anyone else to do the basic tasks of self-care. It’s okay to get your hair done and to go to spiritual meet ups and to find time to clear out your space in the house.  It’s okay to read books, to cross-stitch, and to write. It’s more than acceptable to find time for your on-line classes and work on your future, and to purchase the needed materials. I know it feels selfish to do those things for yourself but it’s not, so make your lists, set your goals and get up in the morning and tackle them, one at a time. And if you need to, it’s also okay to ask for help.

I love you and I’m tired of being your punching bag for every little perceived wrong you have done in your life because you have also done so much right. Stop measuring yourself by your failures and start measuring yourself by your successes, and others around you will have no other choice but to also do the same.  You are worthy of your own love and you are worthy of the love of others but you must open yourself up and let them in. I know being vulnerable is really hard for you but it will be so worth it, trust me!

I will write again. You need more pep-talks, someone to remind you how wonderful and amazing and strong you are. Who else is better to do that than me?

Love yourself!

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What a rush!

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The words rushed out of my pen. The first page of the letter started awkwardly but as I found my stride the words were just there, unbidden, demanding to come out. It felt so incredibly amazing to write a letter again. It was like the unclogging of an artery. You could almost hear an audible pop as the detritus dislodged and flushed free. I didn’t want to stop, I just wanted to be left alone so the words could flow with uninterrupted glee to dance across the pages and tell my stories. To connect my ideas, my experiences, my dreams, my hopes together as in a beautiful woven necklace of multi-coloured beads. Hoping the words make sense when they are read but not entirely caring. Letters are so much less about making sense as just a free flow of ideas. It’s inspiring, perhaps illogical at times, but definitely inspiring.

After writing that letter I feel like some ideas are making more sense for me now and I have better words to explain myself, to be understood with. Other ideas have become clearer but need to incubate a little longer before they can be born. And some ideas were cast aside as I realized in working through them that they really didn’t make any sense. That’s what writing letters for me is, a mental work-out of epic proportions that puts my ideas through their paces and only the fit survive to be born. The rest are rinsed away with the detritus.

So here’s to a successful first step in my re-kindling of my letter writing habits. Now to choose my second victim (insert evil laugh here)….

A pen, some paper, an envelope and a stamp

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As I sat on my bed exploring my collection of stationary I was reminded of how I used to love sorting through the different papers to pick out just the right one for my next letter. I have an accordion file where all my stationary is organized and I would sort through the different styles from floral to animals to art until just the right one spoke to me, inspiring my pen to start writing.

There’s a couple sets of stationary that are really special to me. I have some writing paper that belonged to my great-grandmother and it’s a cherished connection to the only great-grandparent I ever knew. I have another set that my brother made for me using a needle and a stencil. Following the stencil he created beautiful designs at the tops of the pages by punching holes in the papers with the needle. I don’t remember very many other gifts my brother has given me over the years but that stationary that he painstakingly made for me, I remember!2014-05-07 23.57.26It has unfortunately been years since I last wrote a letter, a real letter, to anyone. I have a cousin that I used to exchange letters with regularly. She was my first pen pal, my first awkward letters with big cursive writing where I first learned the love of sending and receiving the written word. It was exciting to wait for the mail, just knowing there might be a letter in the bag for me, and when there was one, stopping everything to sit and read and often re-read the words until the pages were smudged and folded with too much love.

Now my mailbox is full of junk and flyers and the last remaining bill that continues to arrive in paper format, mostly because there isn’t an option to turn off the paper version. It really sucks actually!

I miss the excitement.

I miss waiting for the mail, hoping for a surprise, the gift of someone else’s story to read, to respond to, to connect with. I kept every letter I ever received from all my pen pals and I know my cousin has many of mine as well. So many years we recorded our lives, our experiences, our emotions, our frustrations, and we connected via a pen, some paper, an envelope and a stamp.

Our pens bled with the stories of our day-to-day lives, often keeping us sane. I know at times writing those letters was my anchor to sanity. It was totally freeing to be able to just bleed ink until my soul was raw.

Unfortunately a few years back my letter writing stopped. It was partly due to the influence of social media and partly my emotional shut-down. My ability to write seemingly evaporated and I started keeping a lot bottled up, scared to face what truths the ink might reveal to me. I sank deeper into depression and my accordion file sat in the corner of my bedroom neglected.

As I sat going through my stationary, relishing the memories of the letters I used to write and receive, an idea popped into my brain. ‘What if I started writing letters again?’ My next immediate thought was, ‘What the heck, let’s try it and see what happens….’

For the next month I am going to write letters to people, to my cousin, to my husband, to my family, to friends and even to strangers I’ve just met through social media. Some letters will be short, some will be long, some will be simple and others will be intense but they will all make their way via “snail-mail” to people who crave the feel of a real letter written just for them and to others that just deserve one, who perhaps until they hold the envelope and ink soaked paper in their hands didn’t even realize they were missing something so precious in their lives. Everyone deserves to receive a hand-written letter at least once in their lives.

wpid-wp-1399518825466.jpg That’s what this idea is all about. It’s about re-visiting a time when words were special and it wasn’t about abbreviations or hitting the send button as quickly as possible or even character counts. It was about taking the time to sit down with a pen and paper and connect with someone. I want to re-establish connections, create new connections and through-out all these exchanges big and small explore the written words ability to connect with others through what many now consider the old-fashioned art of letter writing.

Tomorrow will be the first letter, the first time I go through my stash of stationary in what seems like an eternity and pick out that perfect one and sit and write about anything and everything, once again letting my ink bleed on to the page.

wpid-wp-1399519003235.jpgI’m not going to give away who is getting that first letter as I’d like it to be a surprise. Just watch your mailbox, it could be you!

 

If you are interested in receiving a letter, leave me a message with your address through my Facebook page, Soul Nudism