An Open Letter To My Younger Self

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My Dearest Young Renata,

I am 34 years old now and I have been thinking about you a lot lately.

I carry you with me everyday. Even when I don’t acknowledge you, you are always there. You are the part of me that causes me to laugh at the world when everyone else takes things so serious. But my dearest young Renata you are also the part of me that taught me not to like ourself.

Now I don’t want you to feel bad or take this the wrong way but I think we really need to have a talk.

I know, I know…. I don’t think I have ever taken the time out to really talk to you so this is going to be kind of odd.

Yes, I talk about you…. and I have flashbacks of the things you went through, but I don’t think I have ever just really had a heart to heart with you.

Well baby girl with that being said – I think it is high time that I do.

It is time that I sit down with you and let you know exactly what I think, feel and believe about you.

When I tell you what I know about you, you will think I am a mind reader but nope that isn’t the case at all.

Nope the reason I know your story, your pain and your thoughts is because decades later I can still hear them echoing in the recesses of my mind.

For my mind is your mind all grown up.

So I want to talk with you and tell you that it is time for you to let go of the things you are holding that are untrue and unkind.

It is unhealthy for us to keep the false perception of who we are with us any longer. It is hindering me from fully being who I am and accurately perceiving you as you truly are.

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There I am on the left sitting in my Uncle’s lap with my mother and older sister to the right. This was me happy before I ever believed the words spoken over me that led me to think that I was not beautiful and unlovable.


I know you are not aware of the greatness that you are, but I have had some time under my belt and some wisdom come to me that made me aware of our true self. So I want to impart this wisdom upon you and reveal to you what I know to be true, so we can be released from the negative thoughts we are so desperately clinging on to.

My dear young Renata, I know how you ran away from home when you were not even six years old because you were so terribly unhappy. There you were wondering the streets of Belgium and you probably only knew three words of French but you had to get out of that house. Thankfully, a kindhearted stranger found you and you were safely reunited with your family.

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A photo of me when I was a child being playful. Here I was living in Belgium. This was also before I ever saw myself as unattractive. 


I also know how starting on your seventh birthday you prayed to turn 18 so you could leave the pain of your childhood home.

And I know how you used to hide in the dirty clothes hamper waiting for your 18th birthday to come. Just wishing you could close your eyes long enough and your wait for freedom would be won.

Oh my sweethearted Renata how beautifully innocent you are.

It is hard growing up in that house isn’t it?

Your parents love you, but their marriage is not well and that is hard to take.

You would give anything to get out of there and you frequently contemplate your escape.

My sweet young Renata enjoy your childhood and don’t be so afraid.

I know your parents don’t get along but your home life is not all bad.

Yes, you do have a teacher that really is quite mean, she makes you dread school and you have become nervous and afraid of her ridicule and her screams.

Renata my sugar plum fairy her desire to be rude has nothing to do with you! Don’t become afraid to move, to breathe just because she is irritated by you!

Oh my I see your desire to run away has led you to some thoughts that I think we really need to take a look at.

Somewhere along the way you have adopted this notion that you are ugly, overweight and no one will ever love you.

You despise your hair texture, your blemished skin and you even question the size of your shoes.

You think that your worth can be equated with whether or not a boy wants to date you.

Trust me I know it hurt when the boy called and you answered the phone with joy, only to have him laugh and say how unattractive you are.

But that boy was being cruel for his own personal reasons, none of which are yours.

You can stop carrying that immediately for the weight was never yours.

Remember when the kids laughed at you, called you names and made you cry?

Sadly you believed them not realizing their words were full of lies.

You want someone to love you so you can feel complete.

But my dearest Renata you don’t need them to love you, for your love is the love you seek.

I see you wrapped your love around the first boy who showed interest and made your heart skip a beat.

You know how that happened?

It’s because you don’t know that you are worthy of time, affection and attention and you don’t see yourself as unique.

You believed the lies they told you and it broke you down to your knees.

You don’t see your value and you are blind to your worth. You don’t believe the truth of who you are at that is why you hurt!

I know how you felt crying in that dark kitchen crouched down in the floor asking God why you were made so ugly.

Oh my dearest Renata how beautiful you are.

You are the girl who taught me how to write, you gave me a thirst for books and art, your love of music and your quest for God are the very things that have brought so much joy to my life.

My dearest Renata thank you for the time you spent teaching me the wonderful things that I know and now I want to return the favor so you can let your pain and tears go.

If only you could see that even if you are the most beautiful girl in the world someone would still say it is not so.

Stop accepting everything that is spoken over you, reject the lies and all the untruths!

It never matters what the others think, all that counts is what you believe to be so.

What you think will plant a seed and begin to grow. So I implore you to remove the deception that you are unlovable because baby girl it simply isn’t so!

I know you think that no one would ever want to be with a girl like you. But baby girl I am here to tell you that is a million percent untrue.

I know you doubt your ability to succeed in a world filled with beautifuls while you feel absolutely ugly underneath.

That hair that you don’t know how to keep up and maintain, baby girl I receive compliments on the majesty of that very same mane.

The acne, the blemishes and all of those scars honey if you look close enough I still carry traces of them and I have to tell you I am called beautiful so don’t take the breakouts to heart.

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There I am in middle school hanging out with my friends. I am  the one hiding in the back with a hat on totally unaware that there is absolutely nothing wrong with me. 


That boy who broke up with you because everyone teased him for dating someone as unattractive as you, honey I gotta tell you the tears will dry up and you will move on to someone who is proud of you.

There is no need to be mean, mad, angry or upset. Those kids at school are rude to you but they are hurting from their own neglect.

I know it hurt you that your dad walked out and didn’t check back in. You feel like how could he be there 15 years then decide to leave you in the end.

You think it must mean there is something inherently wrong with you, but my dearest Renata that is simply untrue.

Your father is battling his own demons and it was best that he separated from you.

I know you feel lonely and empty inside. And not to mention you want some attention and someone to be by your side.

I know that is why you found yourself pregnant at the tender age of fifteen and people think you will fail because it seems like you won’t make it to the next scene.

But your story is not over for you have the kind of determination that I think they only see in queens. Can I tell you a secret and give you a glimpse of the future? – You will go on to conquer the university and hold for yourself two degrees.

So oh my dearest Renata how can I convince you that you are a beautiful girl?

You hate the gap in your teeth but if only you knew that future you is complimented on everything from your hair, your eyes, your smile, your skin and even your size 7 feet.

Yes the very feet you wonder if they are too big. No my sweetness they are not too big at all. As a matter of fact they expanded and I guarantee you they are average and not too large or too small.

I know how you feel fat for weighing all of 120 pounds because you compare yourself to other girls wondering why you are more round.

My dearest Renata that is what you are supposed to weigh! You are not too heavy, you are not too light at 5’2 I assure you that your size is just right!

I know you are not popular and you don’t have too many friends, but the ones you have are real and that is something no one will ever be able to steal.

I know you think that you are ugly but baby girl I promise you that you are not. You are beautifully created and if I do say so myself my dearest Renata for a lack of better words you are pretty hot!

Don’t walk stooped over with shoulders shrunk and head tilted down.

No walk with your head up, shoulders straight everywhere you tread throughout town.

They laugh at how you talk, how you walk, your skin, your grin, the clothes you wear and your uncombed hair, but my beautiful Renata please be aware that there is no need to be insecure of who you are my dear.

I carried your thoughts for several decades now and I have to let you know…

The positive ones I will keep but the negative stuff has to go.

No more hating who you are and wondering why God made you with deficiencies.

Not when it is plain to see you have no reason to walk around with those insecurities.

Are you perfect? – No

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Here I am taking my High School graduation photo. I didn’t realize I was a beautiful girl. I was ashamed of my smile and clueless to just how amazing I really am.


But honey you don’t have to be.

I want to give you thanks for shaping me into the woman that you made me.

I forgive you for not loving yourself and teaching me to do the same.

I forgive you for telling us we were unlovable and calling us dumb, fat and ugly.

I forgive you for teaching us not to value our body and thinking that our temple was not worthy of honor.

I forgive you for thinking so little of us that you taught us to set the bar low and settle for romantic partners who we should have passed up on.

I forgive you for allowing us to think that we were not worthy of love, care and respect and that we had to accept scraps of attention and consider it a full course meal.

I forgive you for allowing us to think that we needed a guy to come along and make us feel complete.

I forgive you for not knowing better, I forgive you for hating yourself and in turn teaching me to hate us as well.

I forgive you for wishing that you had been born someone else and not realizing your worth.

I forgive you for becoming an angry and bitter person and thinking that the world had cheated you.

I have worked on our anger and our bitterness issues cause honey I promise a sour face ain’t a good luck on me or you.

I am working on the self esteem you gave me and lifting it up from the dust.

I have made peace with the fact that Dad is Dad, Mom is Mom, and that our childhood was our childhood. And honey I can assure you the good really did outweigh the bad.

I forgave the people who called us names because they were insecure just like you and they were living their on lives of pain.

So my dearest young sweet innocent Renata Nicole believe that you are beautiful even if no man ever tells you so.

But I assure that they will!

And when they do believe them – not with haughty arrogance but with a confidence that is real.

My dearest Renata Nicole, you simply did the best you knew how to do and for that I thank you. Thank you for making me into the woman I am today – A woman with an infectious laugh, a beautiful smile, an inquisitive mind, a tender heart, sincere friendships, deep family ties, a strong work ethic, a servants heart, patience that is admirable and a beautiful spirit that radiates throughout my physical being.

My dear young Renata you served me well and I love you!

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This is a picture of my youngest daughter who looks pretty much identical to me. I am ashamed to say that I remember during my pregnancies praying that  my kids wouldn’t be ugly like me. I am so glad that God loved me so much that He blessed me with a child who was beautiful – just like me. Through her I was granted the opportunity to look into the eyes of my younger self and call both me and her beautiful. Every time I see my face on hers I accept that I am beautifully and wonderfully made. Whenever I look back on old photos of myself through my adult eyes I realize there never was anything wrong with the way God created me. I am beautiful now and I was beautiful then!


Love Eternally,

 

Renata Nicole

© Renata Pittman, Renata Smith, Renata Nicole and RenataNicole, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Renata Pittman and RenataNicole with appropriate and specific direction to the original content

 

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