“Long before I learned about love, my world was mostly one of pain, self-sabotage, and sadness. Loneliness and fear were all I could feel. After years of being numb and feeling helpless, I harnessed the fear of never getting what I really wanted and turned it around to make a life-altering decision: to dare to believe in a better possibility for my life. In doing so, I had to let go of the fears that plagued me. And, begin a path of self-love.
No longer did I want to live in world where I was the victim. No longer did I want to feel powerless over my circumstances, or alcohol, and as a result, the destiny of my dreams. I wanted to feel, anything, especially love. I wanted to be one of those people. You know, the ones who wake up excited and happy about their day. Living lives they love—courageously following their dreams. Not hiding in their apartments, alone, with empty bottles and tear stained pillow sheets. This was me.
Every. Single. Day. I used to wake up in debilitating fear. Sometimes, I wasn’t sure I wanted to continue waking. This was me; endless years, days and countless minutes, in pain. It knew no bounds; my fear. My relationship with suffering is an intimate one. I remember many times endlessly begging for “God” (if he even really existed) to ease my pain; by whatever means necessary. It was as if I believed my life was being decided by the fickle impulses of an unforgiving universe, to which I begged for mercy. As if God were a whimsical genie—a power outside of me.
At first, the root of my pain was just the longing to be free from it. The thing that seemed to control my life: fear. I’d later come to realize it as a self-induced imprisonment. I, not it, was the one constant. But that wasn’t something I could yet see. I had to change my perspective first. And, I had to surrender.
Luckily, those dark times feel like a long time ago. Sometimes it seems like another lifetime and person all together. But it was and is still a part of me, despite a lot of healing. In fact, that self-destructive voice is still there. I can hear her. Laced with self-doubt, fear, and second-guessing. She still likes to visit, though she does so less often.
When she does come along, it’s always under the guise of weighing in on what I’m doing. A helpful opinion, if you will. It’s always about something she’s afraid of, things she questions, or things she simply doesn’t like. Of course, it comes off like she has my best interest at heart. Because, she does, in her own way.
However, the voice of my toughest critic—my ego self—always quiets and cowers when I look her directly in the eye, with all the force that I have, and tell her that I love her. That catches her off guard. It is usually then that she disappears. I’ve come to realize that’s what happens when you turn on the light.
For this reason, that darker part of me, my ego self, gets a love letter from me often. It helps to keep her at bay, when she’s accepted. In my messages, I tell her how wonderful, valued, and important she is. I tell her how much I respect her, often reminding her of all the ways she’s helped me become who I am. And even though she presents it otherwise, she likes to feel loved and appreciated.
In my letters, I often have to tell her, ever so gently, that she’s not horrible, worthless or stupid. I remind her that her that she’s not a bad person despite the things she’s done. I try to help her have faith and belief in her dreams—in the great possibility for her life—though sometimes this is better received than others.
At this point in the letter, is usually when she quiets down. That’s when I know I have her. When I know she’s allowed the love to enter.”
The above excerpt, A Love Letter, can be found in Jessica Joines’ bestselling book ‘Dare to Believe: 12 Lessons for Living Your Soul Purpose‘. Available for purchase now on Amazon in Kindle or Paperback formats and Barnes & Noble in Paperback.