• Hannah Chamas

A Letter to the Girl I Neglected to Love

The other day I passed you in the bathroom but I didn’t say anything because I knew you were in a rush to meet up with someone to talk to them about the importance of taking care of themselves. I thought I could catch you when you were spending some time alone, but you don’t seem to do that anymore.

I want to apologize for how I’ve treated you. I’m sorry that I let you limit “self care” to one day a month when the face masks at Shoppers go on sale. I’m sorry that I let the lies put the truth about balance in a box, put it on the highest shelf and instill guilt in you every time you try to reach for it. I’m sorry that I convinced you that you don’t have to reflect on the depths of your own heart before you go help someone else mend theirs. I’m sorry that I let fear and insecurity convince you that if you aren’t available for people every moment, that you will lose them. I'm sorry I have never told you about the importance of being present for yourself before you lose who you are. I’m sorry that I let a skewed image of what ‘selfless love’ looks like build a home in your head and every time hurt and confusion knocked, you began to love yourself less. You, my dear, are a compassionate, courageous, intentional lover of people. But I fear that you have forgotten to be just as compassionate, courageous and intentional towards yourself.

Today I climbed up and got that box from the top shelf. I dusted it off, opened it up and out came the truth that I had been neglecting to tell you. The truth that says that it's okay to take time every day to pour into yourself. That taking the time to eat well, sleeping plenty and do things that bring you to a refreshing place is a good thing for you and your relationships with others. That loving yourself like you love everyone else around you will actually help you start to love people out of a place of strength, rather than from a place of weariness. That if you take time to get to know yourself, you will learn to understand what recharges you instead of searching for something temporary that will simply hold you for a short moment. Through this truth, your relationships with people will be solid and genuine, with less room for crippling doubt and a desire to please. By being in a committed relationship with yourself you’ll have more to give, you will be able to face challenges that come in your own life and the lives of others with an unshakable soul. You will learn to set boundaries that actually allow you to throw yourself completely into opportunities more often and securely. You don’t have to be heavy eyed and drained at the end of the day in order to say you loved people well. I know it's been a while, but please take some time to let this sink in.

… I’m glad we had this talk. I miss you and I’m looking forward to having myself back.

- H

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