Letters to Little One

A Theory on Negativity

Dear Little One,

At times, it seems, negativity is unescapable. It sneaks into your mind and brings you down, sometimes for a few moments, sometimes for longer. Sometimes it’s the product of another person. Sometimes being around someone who is constantly negative will in turn start to make you feel negative. The hard part is, oftentimes when you try to combat that negativity, you pass it on to someone else. It’s not intentional, not in the slightest, but in expressing that negativity, you are setting it free to room elsewhere.

That’s not to say you should hold it in. Share your feelings. Release the negative thoughts that are holding their positive counterparts captive. But take care in how you do so. A cleanse doesn’t always have to come in the form of a complaint. It doesn’t have to be a rant. It doesn’t have to be a shout. Sometimes it can be a drawing or a story or a jog around the block; sometimes it can be a long bath or a nap or an old movie that makes you feel good; sometimes it can be a letter.

Whatever makes you take that deep breath.

Keep taking that deep breath.

See you soon.

Advertisements
Standard
Letters to Little One

Love & Where to Find it

Dear Little One,

I’ve been thinking a lot about love lately. There are so many kinds.

Love for the senses: things you love to taste or smell or hear or feel or see.

Love for the brain: things you love to learn about, explore, understand, and invent.

Love for the body: things you do to feel calm or alive or dangerous or happy.

Love for the earth: things that you love to be around, be it outside or inside, underwater or in the air.

Love for the heart: things you will live and breathe and sacrifice and die for.

There’s love between friends and girlfriends and boyfriends and husbands and wives and daughters and fathers and sons and mothers and daughters. There’s self-based love and faith based love. There is tangible love and intangible love.

What’s comforting about all this is that, quite simply, there is love. And no matter where you are in your life, you will have it. It will be around you, it will be inside you, it will be you, even when that seems impossible to believe. So don’t lose hope, Little One, love is always there.

 

See you soon

Standard
Letters to Little One

The Prickling Desires

Dear Little One,

Throughout your life, there will be desires that prickle beneath your skin. They may be for tangible things like money or belongings, or for intangible things like love, acceptance or success. And recently I’ve come to learn that in order to have any of these things, you must first accept the possibility of not having them. You must accept the possibility that you will not be given these things by chance. You must accept that sometimes you will fail, sometimes you won’t belong, sometimes you will be poor and sometimes you will have your heartbroken. But no matter how many of these mishaps seem to add up, don’t lose faith, because each one brings you closer to where you’re supposed to be. Each one opens you up and teaches you a lesson and makes you stronger. Each one makes that prickling desire more possible. So keep moving forward.

If you promise to, I’ll do the same.

 

See you soon.

Standard
Letters to Me

Dear Me,

No, this isn’t your past self, or your future self, or some self that is hidden deep beneath the folds that only comes out on Sunday afternoons. (Though, if you catch wind of that third one, you should probably get that checked out) No, this is you, right now, in your current state. Hey.

I’m writing to tell you that you’re unhappy. You are. And even though it’s not the kind of unhappiness that cripples you, it’s still prominent, and you need to address it.

You need to make changes. Big and small. And you need to be brave.

First off, you need to get a new job. The one you have right now just isn’t cutting it.  I know, I know, this is a touchy subject. But it’s arguably the most important. You’ve been at this job for almost 10 years now and it’s been great. You’ve learned a lot. More than you realize sometimes. And you are grateful for everything everyone here has done for you. They’ve watched you grow up. They congratulated you when you graduated college and encouraged you when you started to pursue writing. But they also look at you, they wonder—or at least that’s what you assume—they want to ask you, but they don’t: how long will you be here?

This is a family business after all. It’s been passed down three generations and you would be a logical choice for number four. But you don’t want it. You don’t want to stay here and carry on, no matter how noble or nostalgic that may seem. Maybe you’ll inherit it and keep it running in your name. Maybe you’ll be the face behind the scenes, but you don’t want to stay here. You don’t want to exist only here.

No.

You want—no—you need to get out of here. Because as much as you can survive here, you’ll never thrive. And that’s what stewing deep down inside you: the need to thrive.

You’ve felt it for a while now, but you couldn’t quite make out what it was. You have come to work frustrated and short-tempered and gone home regretful and confused. It’s not this place. It hasn’t changed. It hasn’t declined. You’ve just grown. These old clothes are too small now, and you need to buy some new ones.

Secondly, you need to start failing harder.

I know you have dreams. Big ones. Some bigger than you’d dare say out loud. You get that feeling in your stomach, like you’re really meant to do something good. Something that sticks. Start following that feeling because none of it is out of your reach. Start making big scary jumps alongside the small safe steps. Try hard, fail harder, and then succeed infinitely.

Write your dreams down. All of them. Even that one. You’ve been thinking about it for years. It’s time you stopped pretending like you don’t want it more than anything.

Thirdly, you need to you remember me—you.

You need to remember that you are equally as worthy of the kindness and patience and respect you so desperately try to give to everyone else and you need to remember that there’s no shame in admitting that. You need to remember that to do all the things you want to do—to find happiness, to make your dreams come true, to thrive—you need to be you. To love you, for you. Because that’s the only way you make it out of here. Out of this place you wrote this. Out of this secret unhappiness. You need to admit you’re unsatisfied and then you need to do something about it.

I recommend you start now.

Standard
Letters to Little One

Breathe in the Now

Dear Little One,

Sometimes I struggle with anxiety. And when it hits, there are times I understand why and times I haven’t the slightest idea. I’m working on it, but sometimes it still feels bigger than me.

I’m not sure if this is something you’ll struggle with. I hope not. Though I feel as though we all do in some from, be it with anxiety or healthy doses of nerves and worry. Regardless of where you stand, I hope you know you can talk to me, and that you’re going to be okay.

Right now, I’m reading this book called OCD, the Dude & Me and in it the main character has OCD which is heightened when she gets overwhelmed. And while she can do little in the way of stopping her brain from initially becoming overwhelmed, she describes a technique on how to cope from there. She says that sometimes we’ll worry about the future and sometimes we’ll worry about the past, and in that worry we’ll send ourselves to those places, thus disconnecting ourselves from the present and making it much harder to calm down. To counteract this, she says her therapist tells her to breathe. Breathe and put your hand over your heart so you can feel it beating. Because that breath and those steady beats, those are now. They are your proof that you are here, now. You are no longer in the past and not yet in the future, so stop worrying about then and there. Take comfort in what you have now and move forward.

Keep breathing, Little One, and I’ll do the same.

See you soon.

Standard
Letters to Little One

Always, Always, Always, Capable

Dear Little One,

Always always always remember you are capable. You are capable of doing everything and you are capable of doing nothing. You are capable of saying yes and saying no. You are capable of thinking and dreaming and producing and achieving. You are capable of failing and you are capable of trying again. You are capable of standing up and you are capable of surrendering. You are capable of loving and hating and choosing which one to turn to. You are capable of smiling and frowning and crying and laughing. You are capable of helping and turning your back and apologizing. You are capable of anything you set your mind to, and an infinite amount more outside of what you can imagine. You are capable of all this at once and yet sometimes you’ll still feel small, and that’s okay.

 

See you soon.

Standard