Letter to myself
I have been wanting to write this letter to myself for a long time and I’ve been procrastinating. I systematically put it off until a tomorrow that never comes. What could I say or learn about myself that I don’t already know?
“So many things,” would reply the friend who suggested this exercise a while ago. Am I too afraid to dive into the depths of my mind? Or, worse, to venture into my half-empty heart? Who am I? What am I really? “Powerful,” would say that same friend, a yoga teacher. “Powerful and diligent.”
It’s true that I was once at the pinnacle of my field. I created something new; a restaurant concept that was unheard of at the time. I learned how to earn my keep. I surrounded myself with competent and important people. I was never afraid of asserting my ways in a world dominated by men, and I never hesitated to give my opinion when I knew what I was talking about.
Why would I write a letter to myself? Glory and compliments don’t come easily to me. Am I putting it off because I may be worried to find myself on a stormy ocean? I prefer writing to others; to those who are kind enough to read my letters. I write to them to expel the deluge of words raining down in my head.
“The list of self-criticism that cuts us down is long, dear Cora. Try to write this letter as if it were addressed to somebody else,” my friend suggests. “Imagine that you are sending a letter to a close friend who needs advice and wants to be comforted. Call her Corina. Try to convince Corina to soften the way she sees herself.”
— “Fine. I will write the letter,” I say.
I have known you all my life and you are my best friend. You are brilliant and talented. I remember your youth very well. You were audacious and creative, always the first one to find solutions to the preoccupations of a young woman.
I spent enough time with your family to know that the love between your parents was scarce. You suffered cruelly from a lack of love yourself. Your heart likely hardened as a result. Your calamitous wedding gave you three amazing children, and they allowed your heart to know the feeling of unconditional love. As a single mother, you had to work very hard to succeed, but you earned a living that surpassed your needs. Don’t ever forget that.
Your 13 years of imprisoned marriage to a mean man bruised your heart and you concluded that your heart must be defective. No one would ever be able to find their way inside.
Dearest Corina, I have known you forever and I understand. You did suffer from a lack of love, but rest assured that your heart works fine. And it returned to life during the pandemic. The universe has not forgotten you. It has offered you a tremendous gift by offering you the chance to realize your young girl’s dream to write. Today, writing allows you to connect with thousands of readers who no doubt love you.
You have everything you need, dear Corina, to be a wonderful person. Count your blessings. You are kind, generous, inventive and caring towards others, with a gift for words.
You are the person I love the most in this world, dear Corina. We are the best of friends, allies and sisters of all women on this planet. Brunettes, blondes, old, young, fair-skinned or dark; regardless of the names on our birth certificates, our hearts are all alike. They suffer, they throb, they cry and they explode with happiness when they recognize themselves in the mirror. That’s me! My heart goes boom, boom as I stare at my own reflection in the window at the coffee shop. It is I, Cora, who just recognized myself for who I am. My friend the yoga teacher was right.
You should try it! Write a letter to yourself, dear readers. Address it to yourself or an imaginary friend. Pour your heart out and cry a little between the lines, allow the excess grief to overflow into the margins; unfurl the bruising parchment and cut open the wound, if you must. This is all about healing our hearts.
P.S. I love each and every one of you, dear readers! If any of you wish to write your own letter and have it read by a caring heart, I invite you to mail them to me and I will read every one of them, I promise. Use a pseudonym like I did if you prefer. Send your letter, addressed as follows, to the company’s head office:
Letter for Madame Cora
16 rue Sicard, Local 50