When I left for my trip I had a plan. A very detailed plan which I’m very proud to say I followed. Not just a plan for the physical adventure but for the spiritual adventure. There aren’t any books from my research that outlines how to discover your best self in a period of 8 days while on the road by yourself. If it doesn’t exist then create it.
So what’s the plan? I will eventually blog about the entire plan and outline but for now I am excited to share my labyrinth walk and the very thing that made it so special.
On my first day I planned to do a labyrinth walk (which I will blog about later) to say good-bye to the baggage I no longer wanted to carry and welcome into my life the peace and clarity that I struggled to hold onto while I was carrying all the old baggage. I welcomed this journey. In doing this ritual the plan is to surround yourself with close friends and family to wish you success and encourage you with their vision of you. Since my tribe wouldn’t be there with me physically I asked each of them write a letter to me so if not their voices but their words would be with me. Sounds selfish to ask this of someone and maybe it was but this trip involved a lot of selfishness which we all need. It’s not really selfishness as I have come to believe and understand. It’s self care and that makes you a better person for the world.
These letters – life changing. I had no idea that I was thought of in this way by my friends and family. I knew they loved me but part of me always asked “What is there to really love?” I had lived so long believing that I wasn’t good enough and hiding the real me to be what others thought I was. If you tell yourself a lie long enough it becomes your truth. I think we all struggle with that in some way. Not feeling good enough and having to deal with that false truth. Let me tell you though I’m glad I asked this of my friends. Reading those letters lifted me so high and my shift in thinking was immediate.
My challenge is to write a “love” letter to your closest in your life. Tell them how you see them and all of the beautiful qualities they possess. Show your gratitude for their friendship and how they have affected your life. We, ourselves, often focus on the negative facets of us forgetting that it’s the positive ones that shine. Our loved ones focus on our facets that shine. If they don’t then I wouldn’t label them a friend – just being honest.
How to write this letter? So maybe you aren’t a writer. It doesn’t matter. You don’t have to be. I received scriptures, quotes, poems and traditional letters. Each of them lifted me and encouraged me in a special way. My friends see me the way I want to see me and now I see me the way they see me and it is AMAZING. It’s very freeing and empowering. Those women and Jarred had no idea at all how much this would affect me.
I carried those letters on every adventure. I read them when I needed encouragement. I read them when I was scared or feeling down on myself which I was hard on myself a bit in the beginning. Those letters were gifts to me and I will always treat them that way. Over the years they will move from journal to journal and remind me of this time in my life when I finally saw me.
Think about how you would feel if tomorrow a letter from a friend showed up telling you how great you are. We want our friends to be their best selves because when they are, we are encouraged to do so as well. Help them become their best selves.