Letter To My 16 Year Old Self (an open letter)

Updated: Dec 3, 2020

Dear 16 year old Nancy, (an open letter)

I don’t really know what to write.  I will let the words flow from my heart.  Over the years I lost myself while trying too hard to find myself.  Ironic isn’t it.  It’s been a difficult road and has brought me full circle.  I have finally found myself and guess what?  It was you all along. 

During the next few years, as I said, you are going to try to find out who you truly are.  Wanting to find your authentic self is a wonderful idea and a challenging journey.  Life will throw many challenges your way as you move forward.  Some will tear you apart while others will build you back up.  Your perseverance will pay off.  Trust in yourself and trust in the love of an energy beyond our understanding. The most important thing to remember is to hold no regrets.  What happens in life is what makes you who you are today.  It’s a matter of accepting the situation and making the most out of it.  I’m not saying to let people walk all over you or to “let things happen” without trying to change what can be changed.  I’m saying that if a situation occurs, one that you have no control over, just breath.  Breath, then see what you can take out of this to help you grow.  Find the positive in the negative.  Holding regrets will simply weigh you down and will not change anything.  Have no regrets. 

Cry, get angry!… No matter how much I don’t want you to let things bring you down, there will be times where the best thing is to live the emotions before moving on.  Sometimes a good long cry will do the trick.  Other times, you get so angry you feel like you are going to burst.  What works for you is to work-up a sweat like a challenging bike ride, kickboxing, or hard core workout.  There will also be times where you will need to grieve and move through all five emotions.   Anger (blame, resentment), Hurt (sadness, disappointment), Fear (insecurity, wounds), Regret (understanding, responsibility), Intention (solution, wishes, forgiveness).

Always do your best.  Give your 100%.  Don’t give-in to the “give me your 120%”, or the “no pain, no gain”.  The truth is, all you have is 100%.  That’s it.  So give whatever your 100% is at that time.  No more no less.  This will ensure that you do not drain yourself to an unhealthy state both emotionally and physically.  Pain is a form of communication from your body; listen.  After a workout, you shouldn’t be sore more than a day or 2.  If you are sore for 4 days or more, or if the muscle hurts to the touch, you need to pay close attention and slow down!

Be the best version of yourself at all times.  Be your authentic self by being true to who you are and by accepting who you are.  Show yourself and others respect, and expect the same from others.  Do this via your choice of words, your thoughts and your actions.  Dare to be yourself.  You are unique.

Learn something new each day.  Learning is growing.  It’s also fun and challenging.  Learn a new song and free your heart.  Learn a new dance and free your soul.  Learn a new language and open doors.  Learn a new activity and gain confidence.  Learn a new sport and reach new goals.  Learn about people and create new friendships.  Keep learning… your heart, body and soul will thank you for it.  Keep learning… your inner self will remain forever young.

Love!  Don’t be afraid to love.  Love comes in many shapes and forms.  We love our parents, our friends, our “selves” and our spouse.  We love our kids, our home and our pets.  Love is one of the best feelings in the world and a wonderful healer.  It is so much more than an emotion.  It is life.  Not enough can be said about love.  Let it fill you with happiness.  Allow yourself to share it. 

Love to love, love to laugh and love to live.  Live, love, laugh!

with love, Nancy Shimmy, your 43 year old self. (2015)