LTM: From the younger E

This was meant to be a letter from the younger E, to the E I am today. I wrote it after Imi Lo’s journal prompt in her book Emotional sensitivity and intensity. (I’d definitely recommend the book). Sometimes mixed up.

Dear E

Life is a journey that isn’t always going to be easy. You’re going to be taught that it’s not safe for you to express your feelings. Your mother doesn’t accept her own feelings. She can’t hold or accept yours. The only way for her to cope with her childrens life is to live in denial. Your teachers and school will feel threatened by your questions, especially when you correct them on their facts, or query what they’ve never themselves thought about. They will teach you that it’s not safe to think. Your life experiences will come to teach you that it’s not safe to be.

I’m here to tell you that it is safe. I’m here to tell you to embrace the curiosity that you lived with until you learnt to shut it down. I’m here to remind you about the constant connection to a source that you lived with. When you used to live with the constant awareness that every breath you took was a gift, where every breath was a renewal of life and connection to a source. I’m here to tell you to remember when you used to know that whatever was meant to be, would be, that you just had to believe and tune in, and your life would reflect that knowledge. People won’t and don’t understand. They will think you’re crazy and you’ll learn to turn off the connection. To believe that what you think and feel can’t possibly be true. For all the adults in your life tell you it isn’t so. And tell you that you’re lying.

You won’t be understood. When you express a physical (and emotional too) sensation people will think you’re overreacting. They won’t believe you when you’re in pain. You’ll retreat and shut down. You’ll think abnormal physical sensations are normal because you’ll have learnt to ignore what you know. You’ll learn to ignore everday physical sensations until they’re really noticable. Because being isn’t safe. Because people can’t handle your reality. Because they don’t understand it. Most the world don’t bruise from someone bumping into them. You will. The people who bump into you will care that you’re upset. They won’t apologise and will want you to apologise for getting upset. They’ll think you’re crazy.

Your boundaries won’t be respected. You won’t know you’re allowed to have boundaries because your mother has none. And when you try put boundaries in place she’ll scream at you, be hurt, and upset. When you question if her crossing boundaries are okay you’ll be told that you’re too sensitive and it’s your issue.

E, I’m here to remind you of beforehand. Before you internalised the messages that you’re guilty. Before your safety in the world was taken away. Before your safety and trust in yourself was taken away. You lived with curiosity. You lived with openness. You lived with intuition and understanding that all your friends trusted – everyone but you. Your future friends will always believe really strongly in your intuition and knowledge. They will rely on what you know. Believe them.

Life will teach you many things E. You can go back and teach yourself. Relearn. You can cone back to the innocence. To the safety. To the love.

You’re worth it E. You’re so worth it.

I believe in you. I know that you can do it. No matter what the world teaches you. You can override their messages. And embrace all you were today, as an adult.

Love you.

Always and forever.

E.

(The one thing that confuses me is how unsafe my world was, and is, when my childhood was a pretty normal childhood.)

MBSR (4) – Todays zoom class 3/8

Mindfulness attitudes – Beginner’s Mind or Curiosity, Patience, Non-judging, Non-striving, Kindness and Compassion towards ourselves and others, Trust, Acceptance or Allowing, Letting Go 

Today was a mixture.

At the beginning we were told that one of the participants of the group wouldn’t be coming back. I found that jarring and we weren’t given time to process that. Yes I know most people don’t need time. I found it jarring because, because she had said last week that as soon as she was present she was sad. I could relate to that. It’s not what this course is giving to me. I’m not overwhelmed by emotions being mindful. Being mindful, for me, means what I said in my last post – grounded and present. So although what she shared isn’t my reality, it could be. I’m destroying myself. She wasn’t. I’ve been destroying myself long before this course and if anything being mindful will stop it – it won’t, it’s not about that for me – but yeah. I found it jarring. And sad. That was the first sentence.

We then started off with a mindfulness of body and breath which I actually focused on quite a bit. Then we went into breakout rooms to discuss the last weeks experience with practice. Last week the breakout room was 3 of us. This week was 4, which was too much for me. No space to be. Or speak. Afterwards everyone shared their thoughts with the group. I didn’t. I had what to say. My thoughts were/are pretty much all I’ve written. That I’ve been tuning into my body awareness in space and time a lot. Being very physically aware of myself. Tuning into breathing. And mainly just where exactly I am. That includes the sounds around me – which they for some reason have never yet brought up. Not always. Not at all always. But more. More and more. Even if it’s just twice a day that is awesome.

I’ve been less distracted during the body scans. Well, sometimes. I think that doing the practices no matter how distracted I am throughout is practicing focusing. And being aware. Being aware if how distracted I am is great, too. And once I tried doing the body and breath twice in a row. What I had found was that it took until the end until I finally focused a bit. So I relistened, and was a lot more focused the second time around.

That took until ten past. I’m trying to remember what was next. I can’t actually remember.

We then did mindfulness movement which made me feel like I was going to sleep. I discovered that very minor movements actually hurt me. Was interesting to see. Especially because the same movement – lifting my arm to shoulder height – sometimes hurt and sometimes didn’t. I could lift my left arm higher than my right. I was trying to experiment with slightly different movements. Sometimes it hurt other times not, I couldn’t figure out what caused it to hurt though… I was trying to see what I was doing differently but couldn’t see. I wonder if ED has a part to play in how the movements hurt. I think just exacerbated for I’ve always been extremely sensitive. What I also found interesting was when we were bringing our index fingers together with our eyes closed. I missed. I was shocked I missed! Definitely didn’t expect that… it was putting me to sleep.

I thought of sharing my experience but the facilitators asked the people who shared about what they were saying. I wouldn’t handle the questions. So didn’t.

They were then talking about how feel the edge of the comfort zone, you can do that physically and emotionally. Stay with the edge or retreat intentionally. For me staying with the edge emotionally mostly means it won’t exist, but if I’d do it sometimes it does. Sometimes I can stay with that edge.

Had a break then.

After the break spoke about non striving. I don’t really agree. They were saying to accept your reality. But I think the point is that we weren’t really disagreeing. Just they were being a little extreme. Because sometimes you have to strive. And that’s not a contradiction to accepting where you’re at. For example in order for me to live the life I want to I have to accept where I’m at and I have to strive. If I don’t accept where I’m at I’m living in denial. If I don’t strive I’ll end up dead.

Then they showed an image of what not accepting and accepting and put a bridge and asked us how we’d bridge it. How do we get from the negative and judgement from where we are to the mindfulness and non judgement. For the first time I tried to share. Because it would just be giving a word. I said curiosity. I wasn’t heard. I tried again to say acceptance after a couple other suggestions but again wasn’t heard. And then they went and said you bridge it with curiosity. And I freaked out. And I stayed with the freaking out.

The last few minutes was a short breathing space practice – I wasn’t able to focus at all on it as was freaking out. What it is: sit in whatever position. Be aware of your body in the position you’re in. Focus on your breathing in your stomach. Maybe count breaths a few times to help focus. Focus on breathing in your body. Time into your body. Tune into the world.

Was still freaking. They gave the homework. And I journalled a tad. Wrote a really short letter to myself that you matter. And wrote that out to myself – you matter/exist/are important.

And that was today’s. 3 out of 8.

Letter to myself: 3rd April 2020

Dear E

Good morning! Welcome to a new day.

E, I just wanted to tell you that I’m with you, and that you aren’t alone. You’ve got this. There is a lot going on in your head. You don’t have to figure it all out. There is a lot going on in the world and you can’t do anything about it or anything about how your family are acting or reacting. You’re only responsible for your part E, never for anyone else’s.

I love you E, and I’m so grateful that these words can be genuinely said and heard. I don’t know how present you are. More than last night after you cut off from freaking out.

Today is a new day. Filled with endless possibilities. Your only goal for today is to try and be here. And if you do freak out at all to stay present with it for 2 minutes. I know, that is long, before cutting off.

I’m glad you’re here.

Love you.

Always and forever

E

PS. Just for today, trust yourself and your experiences. Believe what you feel to be reality and accept it as such. For it is real. It is true. What you think, what you do and feel, is your reality.

Letter to myself: 6th April 2020

I haven’t often written to myself in the past months and although I talk about what letters to myself have given to me I don’t have any on my blog. I may copy out the last ones but this is from this morning.

Dear E

It is day what of coronavirus? It’s 2 plus weeks since schools shut. I’m losing track of time. It must’ve been longer. Can we just skip today? Every day comes to teach you something. You’re learning to be. Be with yourself. You’re learning how important some things are to you. You’re tuning in a lot more to the source of a world.

Day what of Covid 19? We’re in April 2020 now. It started in December 2019. Conspiracies abound. What caused it. Who cares?

Learn E, learn. Learn from it. Learn from this time. Of endlessness. Learn to be with yourself. Learn who or what the infinite is. Know it is within you. And connect.

You’re never alone E. I’m always and will always be with you. Even if you mess up. I love you and always will. You’re worth it.

Always and forever

E

Letter to myself for next year – 2021 here we come!

Image that says 2020

Simon did this last year, and yet again this year. Check his letter out here. I should have read his before writing mine… I’d hoped to write myself something way more profound and intelligent. I’d love to see your letters if you write to yourself 🙂

Dear E of 2021

It’s weird to be writing this letter, less weird to be reading it. After all, it’s a letter addressed to you, isn’t it. E of 2021. Though really E, you are the same person you were a year ago. Yah, very different too, but you’re yet the same. I had loads of plans for what I wanted to write, this isn’t what I envisioned. When I read the letter you wrote a year ago, to be read today, I saw that you were humoured by what you were writing, yet when I was reading it, it just wasn’t at all funny. So I don’t know what you will find entertaining today. I don’t know who you are today.

Hi E. Yet another year has gone by. A year. 12 months. 360 days or so. A year. 24 hours in every single day. I wonder what the past year has brought to you. I wonder what you have brought to the past year. I wonder what the world has given you. I wonder what you have given the world. As of writing this, you’ve a year ahead of you. When you read this, you’ll be looking back at the past year. I hope when you read it, you’ll look back with pride. I hope you’ll be proud of yourself. I know that I’m proud of you and that in a years time I will be, too. I hope you’ll look back and see all the good things.

A year ago (well, as of writing it’s today, but when you read it, it’ll be a year ago) you were burning yourself and using to burn more. A year ago you knew you didn’t want it for your life. Today, I hope you can look back and see that what you dreamed of then is your reality. That today you aren’t self harming. That today, you are looking after yourself. I hope that today you are looking after your body. I hope you are respecting yourself. And that if you aren’t, it’s just a temporary blip. For you’ll continue on.

I don’t imagine it’s been an easy year for you. I hope you’ve found it worthwhile. Life is a journey. A journey you didn’t ask to be on, but one that I’m glad you’re partaking in. A journey that meanders. There are hills and valleys. Sunsets and sunrises. Rocks and grass. Sunshine and night. It’s a journey. I don’t know where the last year will have taken you. I don’t know what path you’ve travelled. I know it’s been a journey. Just a tiny segment of the journey of life.

I want so much for you in this year. That when you’re reading this, I’m hoping you can look back and appreciate. I want you to respect your own boundaries more than you do. Just more than. For, I don’t expect you to get there. There is no end goal. For every single step you take brings you to another step. Every mountain you climb has a mountain to climb back down. Every stream you pass will be walked over or rowed across. I hope that you’ll know more about what you believe. That you’ll be more comfortable with yourself and your beliefs. That you’ll be able to live by them with confidence. Irrespective of others. For, it’s your journey and not theirs. It’s your journey E. One that no one else can travel for you. Your choices are yours to make and yours to own. I’m hoping that you own that. That you appreciate, respect and value that. I’m hoping that you’re living your life for yourself.

I wonder where you’re living now. I’m guessing at home, though you may be anywhere at all. Not really anywhere, but yes, anywhere is possible. I wonder what you’ve studied. I wonder whether you’ve finished the course you’ve started. You know that you can do it. I wonder whether you’ve included exercise into your routine. I wonder who is a part of your life today. I wonder who your new friends are. I hope you’ve made some new friends, and I hope you’re friends still with your friends of today. I hope the S’s are a part of your life. It’s funny how your friends all have the same initials.

I wonder. I wonder where you’re at today. I do know that wherever you at it’ll have been a journey. I know the past year is one in which you’ve learnt a lot. About yourself, your family and the world. I hope that you’re feeling safer within yourself and the world. I hope you’ll have found that safety and okayness that has often been so elusive. I’m hoping the year has been one of presentness, or becoming more and more present. You are way more present than you ever were.

I used to think there were end goals. I knew where I wanted to get to. I knew where I wanted you to be. And the end goals were ‘it’. Now, I know differently. I know it’s not like that. That there is no end destination. That it’s about going along for the ride and learning to love the ride, to enjoy where it takes us, and to learn from it all. It’s about becoming. It’s about being – it’s about being present in the world. It’s about being real. It’s about being. It is. It is what it is. And, through it all, no one can ever take away your okayness. Whatever life brings you, you are okay. Whatever life has brought to you, you are okay. Whatever you bring to yourself and your life, you are okay. You will always be okay and you will always stay okay. There is nothing that is irreversible. Other than death.

When I wrote to you in 2019 to be read in 2020 I was glad that you evidently planned on being here for the year. You sorta planned on it. Now, I’m glad that you really do plan on it. My goal for 2019 was taking ownership of my life. I’m glad you’ve done that. I wonder if there is a one word/sentence plan for the next year that you can look back on and see. I wonder if there is a word/sentence intention for the year. Maybe safety. Maybe okayness. Maybe just being present. What I really want for the year, what I really hope you’ve learned is the past year, is feelings/emotions. I hope that you’re able to identify what you feel, I hope you know what you feel, and know how to deal with it. I don’t expect you to fully know. It’s what I hope the year gives to you. It’s what I hope the year has given to you. The knowledge, awareness, and understanding of yourself and your world.

I love you E. Whatever the past year has brought to you, whatever it hasn’t brought to you, you are okay. I also wonder who you’re living with now. I wonder who your company is. It would be cool to see ahead, and it would also take away from it. If you could look ahead and see what is, there is no way you’d live through it. I’m glad you haven’t been able to see ahead. Let this year be one of awareness. And gratitude. And okayness.

I’m glad you’re here E. I’m glad you’re here reading this a year later. I’m glad you’ve lived through the year. I’m glad you wanted to. Really wanted to. I’m glad you’re charting your path. I’m glad you’ve been learning to live for yourself and are creating a life for yourself. I’m glad you’ve been taking responsibility for yourself. I’m glad you’re giving to others. I’m grateful you’re here. And I hope that you are too.

I love you E. And I’m with you. Always and forever. I always will be with you. You’re worth it and deserve only goodness and okayness.

Love you, E

I hope that the next year of 2021 to 2022 brings awesome things your way.

Love, light and lotsa glitter and sparkles

E

Looking back over 2019. 2020 – well, here we are.

A year ago Simon wrote a letter to himself in a years time, and I copied the idea (where’s this years letter Si?). I just read the letter I wrote to myself to be read in 2020, and my plan for the past year. It makes me both nostalgic, and appreciate what is right now.


A year ago I wrote what I wanted the year to be about.

It’s the start of an entirely new year. A year I get to choose. I have the choices to make. The responsibility is mine. Looking back I see how often I refused to take responsibility. I wouldn’t say refused as much as didn’t. Wasn’t aware that I could. Seeing it gives me the choice. To take responsibility for my life. To own what is mine. The choices that I make. The actions I take. The decisions. That are mine to own. I used to wish some fairy would just come in and wave their magic wand and take over my life for me. I don’t any longer. I’m grateful. Grateful that my life is mine to live. That my mistakes are mine to own.

Reasons to LIve 149

It’s nice to see. To see that I am taking the responsibility I wanted to a year ago. To see the change. To see how my plan for the year – to own my life – materialised. I’ve taken, am taking, responsibility for my life. I can’t say I always take the responsibility I want to. More like, I push off things I want to do, but I am doing this. I’m not doing all I think taking responsibility means. I’m doing a lot more of it (A1, A10 as Em and Skinny Hobbit so kindly pointed out last night).


A year ago I wrote a letter to myself, to be read this year. The shortened version reads

Looking back at the year you’ll probably see lotsa changes, and lotsa things that are still the same. I wonder where you’ll be in a years time…. I wonder if you’ll have studied further. I wonder if you’ll have changed your views on dating. I wonder whether you’ve worked through what you believe. I wonder if you’re teaching….

It’s strange to read this letter. I want you to realise how much is different. You’ve set your plan for the year out. You wrote about it in the post about responsibility and freedom. Eh, looks like it’s titled ‘Taking ownership of my life’. Yup, take ownership of your life. You are doing that. I’m guessing you’ve been doing that a lot more in the past year than you ever have. Remember jokingly asked R’ R if he’d take over, with the grain of truth there? I’m glad you can take control. I’m glad you can take responsibility. I’m glad you want to. I wonder what it’ll be like for you.

As with everything, it’s a new year. A year has gone by. A year of hope. A year of dreams. A year of aspirations. A year of laughter. A year. A year has gone by. A year seems like such a long time. You’ll be 25 when you’re reading this. 25 seems so young. Yet so much older than 24. Age is meaningless. …you’ll be connecting to the you of a year ago who had no clue what to write to herself for a years time.

I love you E. If there’s one thing I hope you’ve learned during this year it’s that you’re not guilty. And you’re deserving. Both. I know that they’re flip sides of the same coin, separate yet so similar. If there’s another thing I hope you’ve learned it’s that whatever happens you really do have your greatest ally – yourself – at your side. Trust your intuition! Don’t feel guilty for it. Just be you. For you’re the most fantastic, amazing person I’ve ever met. Just because you’re you. As you always tell others, you don’t have to do anything to be worthy, you just ARE. Asides that you’re part of the infinite, so you must be infinity itself. Whatever happens E, whatever you’ve done this year, whatever you haven’t done, whatever you’re grateful for, whatever you hate, whatever you love, whatever you want to change, whatever you want to throw away, regardless of anything E, you’re always worth it, and you’ll always have your own best friend – yourself – with you….. I hope that’s another thing that’s different now a year later. I hope that you really do love yourself. Feel safe with yourself. Believe in yourself. I hope that the life you’re living is a life beyond your wildest dreams. Loving life doesn’t mean it’ll be easy. It means it’ll be real, you’ll be present for it, and that you’re loving the ride – the ups, the downs, the plateaus, the cliff jumps, the rocks, the paragliding. You’re awesome E! Am I beginning to repeat myself and get boring already?

pART OF THE LETTER TO MYSELF

It was, is, nice to read it. I appreciate seeing what I wrote. Hearing this again. A lot of what I wrote that I want to be different, it is different. It’s not completely different. It’s partially. I wanted to get to B, instead, I’m on the way there and not where I was. It’s nice to actually see it in written form. I appreciate it especially now when I’m busy messing my life up and it feels a bit like – what was it all worth? For it was worth it. During the last year I’ve taken responsibility. I’ve built relationships. I’m okay with touch.

I wrote that I hope I feel safe with myself, love myself and believe in myself. I don’t. But I feel safer with myself. I love myself more than I did. I believe in myself more than I did. I know, logically, that I’m worth it. I wanted to work through what I believe. A year ago I was hoping to be a lot farther on. To know fully what I believe. I don’t know fully. I know a lot more than I knew a year ago. I’ve separated some of what I hate about the culture I grew up in, from actual Judaism. I know that they’re 2 different things. That the culture and people aren’t what judaism is about, and I shouldn’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. I think that’s a saying or something.

I think the first sentence I wrote is the truest. That looking back over the past year I can see a lot of change, and there are a lot of things that are still the same. I see change with boundaries I’m able to keep and respect. I see it the same with boundaries too, how I’ve crossed my own boundaries with someone and thereby crossed theirs, and I’m not sure how to have a relationship with them without wrecking it. I see change in the responsibility I’m taking. I see how it’s the same that I don’t want to take it. I see change in how I don’t feel the guilt for living, existing, and being that I used to. It’s the same in that I don’t really know I’m deserving of it (life). I see a lot of change. And a lot that is still the same. I’m glad to see this. To see that it isn’t all the same.

I like that you’re writing to yourself in a years time for it means that you actually envision yourself to be here in a year. You actually plan on being alive for 2020. 

I didn’t. I didn’t really plan on being alive for 2020. Now, I do. I do plan on being alive for 2020. I want to be here. This isn’t about what I want for 2020. It’s more about seeing what was. What I want? That’s another topic entirely. I’ve not reflected on what I want yet this year, it’s not something I’ve been able to do, and, that’s okay. For the moment it’s about getting through the moment and planning how to move past today’s reality and needs.

I’m grateful. I’m grateful for the past year. I’m grateful I get to see what is different. I’m grateful that where there never used to be choice, there is choice now. I’m grateful that I can see the possibility of another life, a life without messing my life up. I’m grateful for all that was, and that I can see that it isn’t the same.

Thank you to all of you who’ve been here with me this past year – I hope you know how much I appreciate it.

So long as there’s life, there’s hope.

Love, light and glitter