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My Letter to My Younger Self

Wisdom and Experiences That Have Shaped Who I Am Today

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Dear Jamelle,

As you inch closer to another year of life, I am writing this letter to the younger me. I have a few insights that I want to share with you about my journey and who I am today. First of all, I want to start off by saying that you need to learn to love yourself. You pour so much energy into making everyone else around you happy. However, your personal happiness and joy have suffered. You have pushed yourself to extraordinary lengths to please everyone in your life. As a result, you have often found yourself frustrated, fatigued, and unfulfilled. You work so hard to please people because you are not at peace with yourself. Honestly, you do not like yourself very much. It is impossible to love yourself without first liking yourself. So take a moment and look in the mirror and reflect on the things that you love about yourself. You are loved and you are worthy of love. You do not have to work or impress anyone to feel loved. All love stems from first of all having a healthy relationship with yourself. So respect yourself and love yourself unconditionally. This will save you years of hurt, pain, and abuse. Loving yourself is the foundation for identity, worth and owning your personal power.

Next, I would say to you that it is very important that you establish a strong sense of identity. Do not waste the most amazing years of your life bound and imprisoned. You do not have to live your life in an identity crisis. You do not need to acquiesce to a second class version of yourself. You were made for significance. The moment you wake up to this powerful truth it will shift the trajectory of your life forever. You need to trust the foundation that your parents put in you. Know that you are not looking outside of yourself for validation or confirmation. More importantly, you do not need permission to be who you were created to be. Jamelle, you must know your worth and know your identity. Your worth does not change because of the inability of people around you to discern it. Do not feel bad because you do not have popularity or notoriety. In fact, I challenge you to embrace that because it is one of the signs that you are a true leader. People respect you because of your principles. You never have to dumb down who you are. Embrace your difference and express it in the midst of a world that would desperately desire to discount it. Never feel bad for setting boundaries and having higher standards for yourself. This mentality will take you far in life. You will be amazed at who you inspire along the way by simply choosing to be authentically you. Furthermore, you do not need to be like anyone else. All you need is the audacity to become the greatest version of yourself. Your difference will define you and distinguish you in the world.

If you do not hear anything else that I say to you, I want you to know that you are good enough. No, I want you to know that you are enough. You do need any relationship, status or title to feel validated or important. You are enough and you must know that and own that. You do not need any relationship in your life to make you feel good enough. In addition, you do not need to be constantly validated to know that you are good enough. You are intelligent, wise, and more powerful than you could ever imagine. You do not have to ask for permission to be the extraordinary person that you were born to be. You do not need to get into dysfunctional relationships to cater to weaknesses and inadequacies in your life. Nor do you need to gravitate towards individuals that despise your greatness and dishonor your significance. Some people do not belong in your life. You cannot make pieces fit that were never part of the prophetic puzzle of your destiny. It is nothing wrong with being alone. Use those alone times to work on your self. Do the inner work so that you know your value and establish the non-negotiables in your life. Love yourself enough to walk away from anything that does not honor the greatness within you. Choose to walk away from everything that undermines your potential and does not respect your power. If you will have the courage to walk alone, you will reach a point in your life where you will have influence beyond your wildest dreams. Your willingness to stand alone today will one day reward you with the opportunity to stand before thousands. Never settle when you know that you have been called to greatness. You have everything you need to succeed and you do not have to look to insufficient places for anything.

One of the most important things I would say to you is to speak up for yourself. You spent a lot of years hurting in silence. You allowed people to hurt, abuse and misuse you. Never once did you speak up or express how you felt. You literally allowed people to make you a human doormat. Please hear me when I say this. You must never again allow people to disrespect you and dishonor you as a human being. You are worthy of respect. More importantly, you do not have to tolerate dishonor. You are not a trash receptacle. You are a valuable treasure and you must only embrace relationships that discern your worth. Do not give the disrespectful the luxury of your time or attention. You have a voice and you should never be afraid to use it. You have not sown dishonor and disrespect and you should not allow it in your life. It is okay to speak up for what matters to you. Express yourself and learn the extraordinary power of your voice. There is a voice in you that is waiting for you to give it expression. You have suppressed that voice for so long. Please do not take forever to find it. Use your voice and you will empower others to find their own voices. You have a lot to say. Stop being shy and reserved and speak up. You have wisdom to offer the world that is waiting to be unleashed. You are a quiet storm. However, you are a force to be reckoned with and you will soon discover this. Do not waste a lifetime ruled by regrets because you stayed silent about the things that mattered to you. God has given you a powerful voice and you need to use it to serve the world in a profound way.

Lastly, I would say Jamelle stop caring about what other people think of you. You wasted a lot of time and missed some opportunities because you lived bound by the court of public opinion. You were so afraid of what people would think of you that you often took no action at all. Unfortunately, you were petrified at how you would be perceived if you made certain choices. So instead of going for certain things you sat back and did nothing. This cycle continued in your life until one day you developed the courage to stop caring. You spent a lot of time catering to the opinions of people that were going nowhere. In fact, you concerned yourself with the opinions of people that did not even have the capacity for your greatness. Who cares what they will say? Who cares what you will look like? Honestly, many of these same people want to be you. They are just too afraid of how they will be perceived if they pursue their dreams. Stop wasting time and stop living oppressed by the opinions of others. If you want it, then go after it and do not let anything hold you back. Write the books, start the business, answer the call of God on your life. Sure you will have critics but you will also have cheerleaders along the way. Do not miss your destiny because of the opinions of others. Freedom from the opinions and expectations of others is the greatest freedom in the world.

In closing, I would say Jamelle stop being so hard on yourself. You do not have to be such a perfectionist. I know you are ambitious, driven and a visionary leader. However, understand that success is a journey and it unfolds one step at a time. Live your own life and do not allow anyone else to dictate how you live it. Respect the opinions of others but never make them law. Also, never allow anybody to define success for you. After all, you know what success looks like for Jamelle. God has shown you the path and all you have to do is follow it. You do not need confirmation or validation. You just need the courage to follow the voice of God and reach your destiny. Your future is incredibly bright but you will forfeit it unless you choose freedom!

With All My Love,

Jamelle Sanders

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