Tuesday, March 4, 2014


Dear Child,

There are a lot of things I could say right now. Things you've heard before. Things that have lost their importance, like: "Don't worry about what they said." Or: "You're beautiful just the way you are." Or: "It's what's on the inside that counts."

And while these things are true, they don't soothe the burn once shame has had its way with you. They don't make it all go away. And nothing really does, I suppose.

So instead, I'm just going to sit with you.

We don't have to talk.
I won't try to fix anything.
My objective is not to put a temporary smile on your face.
My only hope is for you to feel whole.

And you would probably argue that you've never felt whole, but that's your leftover shame talking and that's okay. Let me assure you, you have. I promise. Let me remind you.

Whole like sitting on your father's lap as a kid and driving back-country roads.
Whole like sleepy Christmas mornings with the family who loves you.
Whole like dancing to music that pulses throughout your whole body.
Whole like standing at the edge of something big to remind you how small you are.
Whole like pounding the concrete for 13.1 miles and taking a hot shower afterward.
Whole like your wedding day.
Whole like driving with the windows down and feeling like everything was going to be okay.
Whole like laying in a bed of tangled sheets and tangled bodies.

Whole like the past.
And whole like the future.
I promise that you will feel whole again.

But not today.
No, that would be too soon.
You're hurting today.
Don't push it.
Don't force it just to make other people feel better.

You are what you are and you're feeling what you're feeling.
Unfortunately, you can't put your entire life on hold.
But you can be gentle with yourself.
You can take it slow.
You can breathe deeply.
You can--one moment at a time--find whole again.

                                                                                                              With love,