This letter has taken you years to be able to write. Even doing it now seems strange and slightly difficult, but it’s important to say how you feel and express yourself. You have seen what keeping your emotions in can do to a person, so this letter is something that has been waiting in the wings for years.
Kristen, you are so much stronger than you are ever imagined a person can be. You faced great adversity head on and in a remarkable way. I know that you do not give yourself anywhere near the amount of credit you deserve with this, but you should feel so proud of yourself for what you have done.
Yes, the relationship you wanted for the rest of your life ended and that is incredibly sad. And I know that even though you know you made the right decision for you and him, that it still hurts and makes you angry and disappointed. You have allowed yourself to cry and yell and go through the roller coaster of emotions, which has helped you to understand yourself even better. That is a priceless lesson.
You did something amazing- you stood up for yourself and it was not easy. It involved a lot of hurt, for you, for him, for your families. It made you say you were wrong and made a poor decision. But the failed marriage made you grow immeasurably- beyond the stubbornness, beyond the fear. It might seem like selfish behavior to some and even to you at times, and that is completely allowed. But the selfish action was completely necessary for both you and him. For you both to be your most authentic selves, it means not being together. Do not regret the marriage or the relationship because it taught you more about life and who you are than anything in the world could have. It is never selfish to stand up for yourself and what you need for life. Kristen, you now know that being selfish sometimes is needed as long as it doesn’t involve being vindictive or purposely hurtful. Had you been more thoughtful and put yourself first years ago, the situation now would be different. But you would be different too.
Kristen, I am so proud of you putting yourself first, learning how to say no, and really growing into your joyful life, living it on your terms. It has taken months and lots of strife to get to this place. You are allowing yourself the quiet grace to get to know yourself, learn what your strengths are, and improve your weaknesses. You are finding out what you do or do not believe in, your true likes and dislikes, and what you want for you life. I love that you recognize and celebrate the simple pleasures like reading a good book, naps on the weekend, and laughter with family and friends.
I love that you are in a place where you understand the practice of gratitude is much more than saying thank you. You understand now that quiet time to meditate and journal is as essential to you as a hot shower in the morning. I love that even though you aren’t always happy with what you see in the mirror in terms of your body that you are learning to love it and honor it in different ways while you work towards your goals. I love that you are able to work through the sad times with self-care and using your support network. You also recognize that a night in pajamas on the couch with junk food is just one night and not a cause for guilt or self-deprecation.
I love that the woman who you are at this exact moment is exactly what you dreamed you would be when you were sixteen. I love that you have aha! moments when you realize that- whether it is walking on a sunny day or spending the afternoon cooking in the kitchen, you are living the life you once imagined for yourself. The path to this spot was nowhere near as you imagined it, but without that path, you would not have come to this place. You know yourself better than ever before and you will never allow yourself to be less than this again.
Most of all Kristen, I love that you have a new confidence and sense of self that comes out in everything you do. What I love the most is that this new awareness of who Kristen is comes not from your family, your significant other, or your career, but from the deepest and purest part of you. It is all about the happiness you are making part of your everyday life. Now is the time for you to flourish.
I’m over the moon for you,