What did you need to hear five years ago?
Did you need to hear that everything would be OK someday? That the hurt wasn't going to last forever? Did you need to hear that you are strong and brave and can do it? Did you need someone to tell you to go for it - to take the plunge?
Five years ago I was at the end of an almost certainly meant-nothing eight-month relationship, which isn't a knock on the guy I was dating. I am relatively positive he'd say the same. It was simply the combination of who we were and what we were both willing to give to the relationship.
Yet, five years ago, I was sad it was coming to an end, because I'd convinced myself it was more significant than it was. I'd convinced myself this good-on-paper-guy was my lobster. As I watched my lobster get dropped into a pot of boiling water, officially forever submerged, I needed a pep talk.
I needed to hear my sadness wasn't going to last forever. I needed to be told that someday, I'd barely remember being sad over him because the relationship would be a tiny blip on my radar. I needed to hear the truth: he was a nice guy, but an incredible, amazing human was headed my way in one more year. And although that year would feel long in the meantime, someday, I'd look back and barely remember life before him. He'd rock my world in a way I'd never understand and it would be the best thing I could ever imagine.
One of the best parts of The Letter Project is that it gives women the chance to give advice to younger generations. It gives them the chance to put these things in writing: it will get better. It does get easier. This pain won't last forever. You are strong. You can get through this. How do I know? Because I've been there before.
As I read these beautiful letters, I often wish we could give ourselves that kind of in-the-thick-of-it encouragement.
We're in the height of the holiday season now, which can be a lonely season for many people. Today, I want to encourage you to take a moment to ask yourself what you need to hear. And then? Give it to yourself. Give yourself abundant grace and love. Be gentle with yourself. Trust in the process. Trust that the pain won't last forever.
Trust in your own goodness. You are smart and brave and beautiful. You are strong and goofy and thoughtful. You are funny and kind. You are enough and worthy. And you matter to this earth.