Friday, February 24, 2012

Invest in You

7 years ago, in 2005, at age 20, I wrote a letter to myself as a child.


Arielle,

Don't be afraid. I'll carry you quietly, because you need complete and unconditional love--and my arms will be full of enough understanding that I won't have to use words.

I'll show you what it is to live for you and not for others and what they say and do. I'll let you cry when you need to without feeling ashamed and I'll comfort you like a blanket that soothes all your troubles, worries, and aching limbs. I'll let you stretch into a woman and prove to you how great it can be when you accept yourself and all the changes that go along with being you.

I'll travel great distances to listen to what you have to say. I'll never make you feel alone, unwanted, slighted, or misunderstood. I'll let you be mature when you want to be and I'll let you be a child when it helps you to heal. I'll make promises and I won't break them.

I'll brush your hair. I'll rub your back. I'll sing you songs. I'll nourish you. I won't suppress you--or second-guess you--or leave you. I am invested in you.

You are important to me...because you are me.

Love, Arielle 


I share this so that you can see how genuine and real and comforting it can be. I share this so that when I invite you to write a similar letter to yourself as a child, you'll know I walk the talk. Will writing a letter to yourself as a child heal all your pain? No. Will it be that magic recipe that sends that eating disorder packing for good? Probably not. But will it help? I hope so. It certainly can't hurt.

So, your mission - if you choose to accept it - is to find a photo of yourself as a child. Happy, sad, lonely, sweet, funny, silly, whatever it is! And look into that little face. And with it next to you, grab a piece of paper and write to YOU. Or prop it in front of your computer and start typing... and write to YOU. The little you.

Why? Because it can be hard to write loving things to the adult you, the current you. (It shouldn't be! But it often is!) But it's very VERY hard to write mean, self-hating, disappointed things to a child - even when that child is you.

Give that child what it needs. Say what you need to say. Say what you need to hear. Be real. Be genuine. Be loving.

6 comments:

Sia Jane said...

LOVE it :)))))

Anonymous said...

Arielle, I just love this letter. It's so tender, so genuine and caring... Beautiful and sweet! I know that you are well today, and I was wondering when you wrote this? Were you still sick, or were you well already? If you wrote this when you were anorexic, how did you access that part of you... Mine is so gone... Also, if you should have some troubles come your way, do you still reference that letter today? Does it help, if you do? If it does... how ??

Agrace12 said...

Powerful. The innerchild letter I wrote when I was inpatient over the summer was so moving and helpful. Thank you for sharing this. This reminded me of the letter I wrote. Thank you! I need it! Struggling right now

Angela said...

My therapist had me write a letter to my inner child as an assignment. It was very emotional and healing. Thank you for sharing yours! As always you are such a gift :-)

Angela E. Gambrel said...

Very beautiful and poignant, Arielle.

Agatha K, The Fun Money Nerd said...

Lovely and so true. We forget to be kind to our inner child when we grow up and that can hurt us in so many ways.