I hope you thank your past self, the person who made mistakes that make you cringe just thinking about them. The one who said the wrong thing and did the wrong thing believed one too many lies, even though the truth was staring at them in the face. That self has taught you who you don’t want to be, and there is a lesson in that. That is always something to hold onto, too.
I hope you thank your past self, the person who tried to shift and mold and change who they were to please other people. They never let themselves sit with their own thoughts, wants, and needs and instead let the world tell them who they are and what they should be. Until, of course, that little voice from within told them to stop. That little voice from within pierced through the chatter and the chaos and said to them that other people should not be living your life for you. That little voice from within spoke with a whisper and then a shout—this is your one and precious life, so living to please other people would be both a crime and a tragedy.
I hope you thank your past self, the person who didn’t think they deserved love. I hope you see that you deserved that kind of love and that you are worthy of that kind of love, and that kind of love is still out there waiting for you. I hope when you see the scraps that you accepted, and the sadness that you endured, and the way you beat up your own heart and soul for wanting to love and be loved ferociously, you realize that you weren’t wrong. There’s a lesson in learning to trust your instincts, listen to your heart, and realize that it’s okay to ask for what you need.
I hope you thank your past self for each version of you that you were before today, for they have brought you to this moment and helped you clarify what you want, what you need, and who you hope to be.