This week I heard a song by Mercy Me called “Dear Younger Me”.
The song got me thinking and I asked myself the question, “What would I say to a younger me, given what I know now?”
Lots of thoughts ran through my mind, most of them accusing and fuelled by guilt: “You should have tried to lose weight earlier in life, tried to understand your parents as a youth, been less dependent on them or worked harder, then life might have been less stressful”.
But when I stilled my thoughts and listened to my heart, the following words of love and hope bubbled up, “It’s all going to be okay”. These are the words I needed to hear in my teens and 20s when I was navigating my life.
When I was bullied at school, it might have been painful then, but it would end up okay. When mum got sick, it would be okay. When I lost my job, it would work out in the end. When I was told I had a demon, it was not the end.
Navigating our life is difficult enough without laying guilt on ourselves. We didn’t need shame and guilt laid at our feet back then, nor do we need it now.
Looking back at my life, these words are true. Despite the losses I experienced and the trauma I endured; life has turned out okay. In fact, better than okay. I’d say it’s brilliant!
What the younger me could not see was hope. I could not see the quality and security of the friendships I have now, nor could I see that although it would be difficult, I would lose the weight which held me back. In my youth I feared that I wasn’t smart enough, thin enough, quick enough or caring enough. I was deeply insecure and filled with doubts about my worth and ability.
No matter what age we are, we will go through difficult times. Our world will seem bleak, and hope will be lost. During these times we don’t need to hear how to make it better, how to make ourselves get over it, nor how to feel happier. We need to hear that it will be okay.
What would you say to the Younger You? I do hope they are words of encouragement, because as I have learned, life is beautiful if you stick with it.
The picture above is one of me on my journey out of obesity.
In love, Jenny