Prompt 12 comes from Amy Taylor-Kabbaz.
It all starts with kindness. Everything I have learnt, everyone I have interviewed, every word I have studied has guided me to this simple but profound conclusion: true happiness begins and ends with self-kindness.
No more guilt. No more shoulds. No more comparison.
And the very best way to give your weary soul some kindness at the end of this year? A love note.
Write a letter from you to you… filled with forgiveness, love, and a big bear hug.
On January 3rd, I received an unexpected email. It was a love letter that I wrote to myself on January 3rd, 2014 using FutureMe.org. I had no recollection of writing that letter to myself. It was eerie, wonderful, and yet heartbreaking.
Three of the five things that I wished for myself did not come true. Two were things that I desperately wanted, one I tried very hard and gave my all for. I didn’t really feel like being reminded of this on a lazy Saturday morning. It had nothing to do with “shoulds” or comparison or guilt, but just a sadness that I was not able to make these two important things happen based on my efforts. That being said, my past self was kind and encouraging and that made it easier to read this email, even with the great intentions it had. I told myself to be bold and “embrace that certain things that are worth it are hard so just get dirty.” It’s a good reminder and I feel like I did that even if I did not get the results I desired.
In the world of self-employment and selling clients in the coaching industry, it is easy to sell the dream of a full and free life. I have certainly done that in Reverb this year and in the past. It’s harder to be raw and recognize that not everything comes easy or sometimes at all. But acknowledging failures and disappointments are part of growing as an actualized adult, no matter what your profession is.
I wrote another letter to myself today using FutureMe that I will keep private until I receive it in 2016. I don’t even remember everything I wrote just 7 hours ago. I do know that I tried to be specific in what I wished for myself and reminded myself of values that I believe in and that if the things I wished for myself now didn’t happen, to reflect on all that I did happen. Some of the things that happened in 2014 that were wonderful were feelings and experiences I could not have possibly imagined when I wrote my first letter a year ago. I hoped that I had more of those and hoped that I recognized that magic in 2015. And yes, I did tell my future self that I loved her deeply!
Living life is a mix of great and sad- you need both to experience the highs. I am glad that I wrote the future letter to myself and will now try to do so every year, even with the potential negative emotions that could come from reading it next year. Even if it feels like I inched forward on some goals, I don’t know if I would recognize my progress without the reminders of journals, Reverb, and letters to myself. Constant reflection is the best tool I can offer you as a career coach.
What would you write to yourself in the future?