We do not learn from experience…we learn from reflecting on experience.-John Dewey
Imagine you had a time machine, and you could use this time machine to visit your younger self. If you had the opportunity to, would you take it? And if you did, what would you do differently? Would you try to change events that have already occurred? Would you right any wrongs? Change the trajectory and tamper with the very existence you know as life?
I don’t know about you, but I don’t have many regrets. Every event that has taken place in my life has led me to this very point. I wouldn’t intentionally try to change my life. But if I had the opportunity to visit my past self, I would take it.
You see, young Ang experienced a lot of traumas in her life, and this often left her feeling depleted, distrustful, and disappointed. And because of the traumas she experienced, she battled with anxiety and depression at the young age of 11. Young Ang needed a lot of healing and at 32 years old, I am still attempting to heal that inner child. If I had the opportunity to speak love and light to my younger self, I would 100% jump at that chance. Curious as to what I would say to her? Here are fourteen things I would tell my younger self and why:
Not everyone will abandon you.
A lot of people have walked out of my life, family included. This created a personal narrative of “they will eventually leave.”
You are worthy and more than enough.
Because I felt abandoned throughout my life, I often wondered what was so wrong with me that made people find the closest exit out.
It’s okay to feel fear. Do it anyways.
I’ve passed up on so many opportunities because of fear. Fear of failure. I always thought failure was a bad thing when failure is a necessary step for success.
Your opinion matters.
This is due to my low self-confidence and lack of trust in myself. Thanks to bullying and emotional trauma, I am gifted with the opportunity to build my confidence from the ground up.
Forgiveness is for you, not them.
This is something I have learned recently. I hold onto grudges like a person riding the subway for the first time. Seriously! You wrong me and I won’t let it go. But with that, builds resentment. So, who is really losing here with my lack of forgiveness?
You are not fat!
Three words: Growing up Hispanic.
The pain is temporary. Wait on the blessing.
When you are in the thick of it, it feels never-ending. But when I look back, each heartache was balanced with joy following after it.
Say no to anything that is not aligned with your happiness.
I often feel guilty saying no and I think this has to do with my abandonment issues. Sometimes saying yes is my way of gaining their love, respect, and loyalty. But what good is any of that if I’m unhappy?
You do not need to overexplain yourself.
Again, abandonment issues.
Stop over apologizing.
Low self-confidence. See the trend here? Cause and effect, my friends. Cause and effect.
You are not alone.
I’m still sorting some emotional baggage with this one. But I am slowly learning that I tend to isolate myself, especially when I’m going through it. I’m working on speaking up more and reaching out to a loved one when I need to.
Your hard work does pay off.
Once upon a time, I was taking public transportation to my full-time job, then taking it to my full-time college schedule, while trying to figure out how I can make $16 worth of food stamps stretch for groceries on 5 hours of sleep daily. Young Ang would be proud.
You do not have control over certain situations. Let go and let God.
A lot of unnecessary anxiety and stress trying to control a situation. It’s not worth it, let go.
You are loved. I love you.
Abandonment leads to feelings of rejection, which leads to a lack of worth, which creates the perception that you are impossible to love. So, you never learn to love yourself. I can think of a few past life experiences where I truly needed to look in the mirror and proclaim my self-love.
Well, I just peeled back several layers of my skin and exposed myself. Some of that was heavy… My heart aches for my inner child from time to time. I wish I could hold her and let her know that everything will work out the way it should. I have experienced a lot of pain in my life. But as I have said earlier, no regrets. There is always a lesson before a blessing and I have had a ton of them, so I am equally blessed! Cheers to resilience.
Out of curiosity…if you had the opportunity to speak to your younger self, what you would say? If you feel comfortable sharing this, please let me know in the comments. Would love to hear from you all ❤