This letter was written by a teenager who visited the monastery for the first time and stayed five days practicing with friends. One night, the teenagers were invited for an activity called “Dear Present Me”. They were encouraged to write a love letter to themselves, a letter that gives them strength, courage and determination in this moment and later on in life. When encountering difficulties, this letter serves as a refuge place, a ladder that helps them to continue to climb up and not giving up hope so quickly. Each friend chose a comfortable space in the dining hall and with a simple pen and a sheet of paper, he/she opened his/her heart out to no one, except to himself or herself.
Well hey there. It has been a while since the last time we talked. Life is a difficult journey and we know this, with that being said, we also know that it is not impossible. Even in the lowest moments there is hope; and there have been a lot of those, but we always make it through and will continue to do so. There are some very important things you need to always remember:
- You are beautiful. No matter what anyone says, or has ever said to you. The inner beauty that is expressed is a powerful thing, and you are filled with it. Your physical appearance is not important.
- You are strong. Life has done many things to bring us down yet we are still here. 6 months ago you could not get yourself out of bed and now we are here: smiling and happy. Those days I found it impossible to think I could even have the will power to make it through to a tomorrow.
- You can be happy. You do not have to live your entire life suffering from depression or being unhappy. You can stop and smell the roses! You are allowed to smile! You can be happy!
- You have control. We decide how we feel, how to react, and what to do. No one else can have control over your life again.
- You will make mistakes. Big ones, small ones, and everything in between. That is okay, that is okay because everyone who has ever lived on this earth has made mistakes-including you. There is no need to judge yourself or others so harshly.
- You are amazing and talented. You play music, write, do photography, and take care of people and animals. Things can come to you naturally and even the things that do not- are okay.
- You are smart. Not everyone will think so, but you are smart. Reguardless of test scores and grades, life has given us a lot of wisdom to use and share.
- You can love and be loved. After life has tried so hard to change that, you deserve this. Not only can you love others, but you can love yourself. You deserve to have and share this beautiful compassion.
- You can trust people. Not everyone in this world will betray you or hurt you. This will be hard but like I said, we are strong.
- You are kind-hearted. Although there is always more room for kindness we should always be kind no matter who they are and what they have done unto you and others.
Listen Melinda, it is hard, and it may always or never be like that again. Yet in every moment of life you are amazing. You are beautiful, strong, happy, flawed, talented, smart, loving, trusty, and kind- hearted. After everyhting we have been through I know we can handle whatever life may throw this way. There is always one thing you need to remember: YOU DESERVE TO LIVE YOUR LIFE!
The many nights we wished for death, wanted to kill ourself, just wanted everything to be over and done with. This precious beautiful body has been given to you and it is unique and wonderful. You deserve this life and to completely live it. After the sexual abuse from your father, watching that man commit suicide, abuse from your mother, the bullying, losing your bestfriend Dylan, being heart-broken, and assaulted, you were angry, but now that inner-hatred is diminishing. Just because these things have happened, does not mean you should take your life. This is a beautiful journey we have taken and there is much beauty in the struggle. The anger, depression, anxiety, and sadness that we feel is difficult to overcome; however, we need to remember that difficult and impossible are not synonymous.
I look at all the people who have been in my life from the time i was a child, to this current moment. There have been many but a very few have stayed. The main one is my mother and while she can be harsh and shaky at times, she is the one thing that has held me down. Always apperciate it and her sacrifices. Love her unconditionally as she has done for you. All of those others who have or will do wrong to you: forgive them. Your heart cannot hold that hate and still expect to love. Understand that no one has fully discovered their inner beauty. It is so important to always see from the other’s perspective and we should learn to always live like this. Life continues and we need to know that we can also be happy while it does. Make at least one person a day happy- including yourself. Maintain your inner peace and joy. Share your love and understanding with others.