In September 2013, I started a journal in which I write letters to myself. Each letter begins, “Dear Megan…” and ends with “Love, Megan”. It may sound strange, but it’s incredibly powerful to tap into the well of self-compassion that exists within me (within all of us) and shed new light on situations that I may have only previously been looking at through the filter of negativity, self-blame, or shame.
Although I haven’t recently kept up with the practice of writing in that journal, I still recognize the value of it and wanted to write a public “Dear Megan” entry today. I hope you will find some value in it, too.
You are loved and worthy of love. This is true. It is unconditional. It is not dependent on what you do, what you look like, who you know, how you feel, what you eat, or how much you exercise. It does not matter if you accomplish ten things today or accomplish nothing today. You were loved and worthy of love the moment you were born and will be loved and worthy of love every day of your life until you die.
I know you’ve been struggling to express your anger lately. It’s not an emotion that you have ever found easy to express. Your experiences of other people’s anger shaped your belief, “It’s not okay to be angry. It’s not okay to express anger. Anger is unhealthy. Expressed anger is scary.” As a result of those beliefs, I see how you swallow your frustration and anger instead of expressing it in assertive ways. I see how it builds inside you until you feel resentment, until it leaks out onto those who you aren’t angry at, and until you feel literally “full” (and “fat”) with suppressed feelings. I notice that you are sometimes so angry you drive recklessly, yell at your partner, binge, or over-exercise.
And you know what? I STILL LOVE YOU. I love you no matter how you feel or how you express it (or don’t). But, I also know that anger will eat away at you if left unexpressed or if vented only when it builds to its max.
I’m proud of you for beginning to explore this issue with your counselor last night. I know how much courage it takes to share your struggles with someone. I know how hard it is to re-examine old wounds, revisit past traumas, and “re-story” your life. You will find the answers you seek. As one of your favorite bible verses says, “Ask, and it will be given to you. Seek, and you will find. Knock, and the door will be opened to you.”
And through it all, you are loved and worthy of love.