You’re going to want to forget. A lot of things, actually.
Like all of the moments you were besides yourself with jealousy and anger. You’ll want to forget the nights anxiety kept you awake, wondering where they were, what they were doing, and who they were with. You’ll want to forget the times you acted like a complete idiot; the moments of insecurity that led you to call an embarrassing amount of times and blowing up once they finally picked up the line.
My darling, you’ll want to forget all those fights you had— the big ones, the small ones, and the downright stupid ones. You’ll look back and think, “gosh, did I really say that? what was I thinking?” You’ll want to forget the nights you stirred the pot for no reason at all; beautiful nights you ruined with your attitude; perfect moments ruined by your insecurities. There may even be days when you want to forget entirely the person you were when consumed by love.
I know it’s hard to face the person you used to be. I know how painful it is to remember the people you hurt and the mistakes you made when you were broken. But please, I beg of you— don’t force yourself to forget. Far too often, we push unpleasant memories of ourselves from our minds because they’re more comfortable in the corner or behind the closet door; like the weeks worth of laundry we let pile but never wash. I know it’d be so much easier to forget the old parts of who you were– the parts you never loved much anyways. I know we think if we could just push those memories far enough away, if we could just bury those messy parts of ourselves, then maybe—just, maybe— we could wipe our slates clean. Run from the person we used to be and start over. With someone new, in someplace new, as someone new.
But my darling, I beg of you— please, learn to be kind to yourself. You can’t shame yourself into a better, happier, more complete version of you. You’ll never be able to mend your broken bits by condemning the very heart that suffered the blow. I know how embarrassed and ashamed you feel looking back on the person you used to be. So I’m writing you this letter because I hope it will encourage you not to hate who you were last week, last month, or even last year.
Because that person, though unrecognizable now, is an extension of you; she was the person you needed to be to get to where you are now.
My darling, I know this is hard to come to terms with, but here’s the plain and simple truth: you are who you are now because of that broken, insecure, mess-of-a-girl. And even though she made mistakes, even though she made a fool of herself, even though she loved a little too hard in the most destructive of ways, you need to learn how to love every last bit of her.
So here is my promise to you, my darling: every day, I will learn to fall a little bit more in love with the old versions of you that I used to be so ashamed of. The versions of you that were always anxious, paranoid, too much, too crazy, too sensitive, and overbearing. The versions of you that loved to the point of exhaustion, the you that laid your heart on the line again and again only to have it taken for granted every time. Because the girl you once were deserves just as much grace as the woman you are now becoming.
I know these last few months have been tough for you, my darling. But you’re growing stronger every single day and I’m so proud of you.
I’m proud of how your heart is changing; proud of the forgiveness you’ve let pour out of you. And maybe that’s the truth about healing. It isn’t about revenge. It isn’t about putting on a little black dress and hitting the town, moving on first, or harboring resentment in your heart for the person you once loved.
Maybe true healing is all about grace. Not just for them, but for yourself, too. Maybe it’s about learning how to clean up the mess you’ve created without reprimanding yourself for breaking in the first place. Perhaps its learning how to speak words of kindness and encouragement over yourself and learning how to have patience with your heart on the hardest of days. Maybe that’s really all there is to it.
Just promise me you’ll hang in there a little while longer– alright my darling? Keep putting one foot in front of the other. Keep waking up in the morning and drinking coffee from your favorite mugs. Keep writing. Keep growing. Keep letting yourself feel.
I promise there are better days ahead of you. So much goodness is going to come from this. So keep on going, my darling. I’m so in love the person you have been and the person you are becoming. I’m so proud of how far you’ve come. So on days like today when it all feels like too much, come back to these words and remember who you were. Remember how far you have come and remember to love every version of yourself that brought you to where you are today. Because you are so, so worthy of love, my darling. And you always have been.