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A letter to myself

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

As part of my Spark Coach today I'm supposed to write an encouragng letter to myself.

Dear self:

Sometimes you doubt yourself so much. You see the things you haven't yet succeeded at more than you see your accomplishments. You focus on your shortcomings rather than your positives. You have come a long way, from your younger days, when you magnified the negative and didn't feel worthy of much of anything. But you still feel you have such a long way to go. But I want you to think about the positives in your life. You have grown and changed so much over the past number of years. You are nowhere near the insecure child, the teenager who was so down on hersef, and the young adult who doubted every decision she made. I want you to think about the strong woman you are now. The woman who as had so many difficulties thrown at you throughout your life, but you've grown and changed through all of them. You are not just a survivor, you are an overcomer. You have accomplished so much. You went to college in your mid 30's, newly divorced and with 5 young kids and not much support. You graduated with high honors in 3 1/2 years. You found the things that you are meant for, working with the elderly. You gained respect of your peers and the people you worked with. You struggled with being torn between the job you needed to support yourself and your kids, the needs of the kids as they grew, and the needs of you aging mother. Sometimes you felt torn to pieces trying to juggle it all. You went through a very dark time when you didn't want to live anymore and held on to a slender thread because of your faith in God and the fact that your kids needed you. With time you came out of that dark place and have never felt that way again. Then you struggled with pain and fatigue and was diagnosed with fibromyalgia in 1998. It was hard to get up and do the things you needed to do but you never gave up.
Then in the past 4 years you turned your life around even more. You started working on getting healthier after a lifetime of being way overweight. You started with small changes in your diet and adding very small amounts of exercise. Just a few minutes a day to start with and built on it. You found that as you did that, some of your pain and fatgue got better. It has never gone away and you still have good days and bad days, but you chose to try to work with it and not be identified with it but to accept it is a part of your life but not who you are. You learned that having chronic disease doesn't mean that you have to settle for less of a life. You've found that you could fight and keep going forward and that your symptoms were more manageable and you could do amazing things. You started walking a lot. Then you decided maybe, just maybe, you could run a little. You've had your ups an downs with it but keep coming back to it. For the first time in your life a few years ago you felt like an athlete when you wore a race bib and was in a timed event. Such an amazing feeling! Who'd have thought that in your mid 50's you could feel like an athlete when you never had that before in your life! You've done a number of 5k races now, and have walked a few half marathons and 15 mile events. Those are such major accomplishments for someone who was so inactive and overweight all her life and felt like such a slug. You inspire and motivate others. You give freely of yourself, and at the same time have learned how to set boundaries to take care of yourself also.
You are an awesome, wonderful person who has so many things to look forward to and so many things still to accomplish. New adventures to try! New ways to help people! New people to meet and places to go. And who knows what else lies ahead. There will be struggles and things that seem overwhelming. But just know that you have the strength, the stamina, the tools, and everything you need to continue to grow and continue to turn into a beauiful butterfly. You really are an amazing person and you deserve all that you dream as much as anyone else does. You are not less than others. You are not greater than other. You are a unique person who is equal to all those around you and never feel ashamed of yourself or less than others again.
So continue to chase new dreams and try new things and open your heart to those around you. Continue to trust in God to take you to places you never dreamed, and in yourself to be able to answer the challenges before you.
You can do it! The best is yet to come!
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