My Advice to My One Year Younger Self

This post was inspired by this questionnaire: 50 Important Questions To Ask Yourself As 2016 Draws To A Close

If you could go back and give yourself a single piece of advice on the first day of 2016, what would it be?

I’m not going to lie about it, friend. This year will challenge you. People you hold dear to your heart will abandon you, hurt you and make you feel smaller, one after the other. You will start to believe that being truly intimate and connected with someone just isn’t meant for you, that you need to bury your desire for loving friendships and instead start drinking a lot of coffee, get a netflix account and stay home, night after night, feeling miserable. And you know what? That’s fine. You’ve tried so hard these past months, to make more friends, to put yourself out there. Go ahead, stay home, lose faith for a while. Winter has come to your heart.

My piece of advice would be this: don’t be ashamed for the feelings you have for other people, for the love in your heart, for the desire to get closer. It’s true that you will be disappointed many times, that you will feel unlovable and disgusting, that you will wish you could just stop feeling altogether, that your life would be so much better if you could just stop caring about people who don’t care for you. I know. I understand.
But don’t be so hard on yourself: you are a living, breathing human being. You were born with the need to love and be loved. Your heart is stronger and more magnificent than this. Most importantly, don’t hide your grief, don’t push it away. Your grief is there to help you work through your depression, to help you heal. It’s ok to grieve all the people who touched your life in any way, to say goodbye to them and to be sad about it. It’s ok to be sad, full stop. Don’t let anyone tell you differently. At the end of 2016, you will come across a wonderful book which makes all these things crystal clear to you.

My wish for you, dear friend, is to feel the sting of your loneliness, to be fully present with it, to embrace it like a mother would embrace her beloved child. It will transform you and you will not die. Make some time for your precious emotions each day, and just let them show up exactly as they are. It’s ok. You are ok. Your body is stronger than you think. Hug it sometime. Cry as much as you need. Stay home as much as you need. The people who truly matter will still be there. Grieve the people who don’t care for you, and no matter how much it hurts, let them move away from your life. It’s ok. Grieve. Grieve. Grieve.

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