A Love Letter to My 20 Year Old Self

by Kimberly Garner

Love Letter to My 20 Year Old Self You would’ve LOVED her, actually you might already know her? She’s kind and so painfully hard on herself. She’s exceptional at catering to the needs of others without question for her own. Her coordinates live a broad reach outside of her self in the fragility of external feedback, that desperate self-sacrificing survival mechanism she taught herself and the anemic validation for her own worthiness and lovability. Her badge of honor reaffirmed through the praise of well-meaning loved ones as “thoughtful, generous and kind”. A master of self abandonment. To emotionally survive, she unintentionally deprived a part of herself from living. Until one day, years later, she slowly began waking up to the glimmer of who she really was. But how to reconcile the difference between the person she was raised to be with the person she was born to become? She didn’t know how to fix any of it…so instead she broke it…all of it, blasting the bedrock of outdated beliefs, stories and imposed agendas of yesteryear, along with an unfortunate share of collateral damage. It’s within the wound we find the fray which weaves the beginning of our own heroic journey and the scar tissue of wisdom waiting on the other side. In the cycle of breaking and shattering, we wake up to the wisdom only life teaches. Loving our messy, loving the regrets, the mistakes, the poor choices, the embarrassments…when we love all of our messiness and love our self more for it, we arrive in an entirely new place of being. Self compassion, self devotion and a sovereign resilience take residence within our marrow. We look back on all the trials and tribulations and can honestly say, “Thank you! If it weren’t for you, I wouldn’t be who I am today. You helped me source the depths of my inner strength and power. I am a force and I love me.” This is what the shattering and rebuilding taught me about us… Unconditional love is what we give ourself regardless of the circumstances Look at your relationships as a metric for how well you’re loving yourself, not as a measure of your worthiness When someone treats you poorly, know it speaks more to how well they love themselves than it speaks to how lovable you are or how you deserve to be treated Be Self-ish Take care of your needs before taking care of the needs of others Don’t be afraid to color outside the lines Listen to the voice of your inner knowing, it knows best and has your highest interest at heart Cling to that which feeds you Follow what feels good, get curious about what doesn’t Your feelings are your internal navigation system pointing your shoulders in the direction of your dreams Never doubt, diminish or deny your deepest desires Your desire is proof it’s possible Don’t hide from discomfort, it’s telling you something for a reason Discomfort is your desire in disguise, your loyal friend guiding you along the path of your beautiful unfolding Expect what you want, believe it’s meant for you Your words, thoughts and expectations are your super power…use them accordingly Talk to yourself with the same kindness you would speak to the 5 year old you once were…you’re still that person Chart your life based on what you want, not what others want or expect of you Ask yourself often, “Is this what I want? What do I want?” You’re more beautiful and brilliant than you realize Right now is not the conclusion Where you are today speaks more to your past, than your future Trust your intuition Love your messy, especially love the parts you want to hide Life whispers the information you need to know, listen and follow Trust yourself Make sure your waypoints are internally sourced Sometimes caution is more reckless than risk What you think, feel and imagine creates your life experience Life is a collection of moments where you become more and more of the person you were born to be…love all of it Everything good grows from self love & self compassion…sometimes it’s the hardest thing, yet it’s the only thing.