I chose a moment 3 weeks before I moved out. Many of you know what happened that day (I'm looking at you, Cate and Kyra). All I can tell you is it was terrible.
Wiser Liz walked right up to younger Liz who was sitting there on that porch in painful bewilderment. Wiser Liz knew that this was almost the end of the marriage, but younger Liz still had to arrive at that conclusion on her own. Younger Liz wondered if the misery would ever end. Younger Liz wished she could just die. But Wiser Liz knew the truth. She held younger Liz, sobbing there in her arms. She told younger Liz that she understood her pain, that she didn't deserve to be treated this way, that she wasn't crazy. That she was worthy of love. Wiser Liz was calm, centered, secure and full of empathy. A bit fatter than younger Liz who had barely eaten in weeks because the weight of sadness was stealing her breath.
Younger Liz listened while Wiser Liz told her how much she had learned during the year that was to come. That she had learned to trust her gut. That she trusted her intuition. That she could make decisions with less anxiety. That she would look back on this day as a turning point, and that she would eventually make a decision she would have no regrets about. A year from now, she would be so much happier. Her only advice was: trust yourself because you make good decisions and hold on to Alta like a life raft because she will teach you what it is to be safe, to have permission to feel what you feel, she will teach you how to guide others along this path. The good news was that the things younger Liz was learning right now would help her to help so many other people.
You guys, the experience was so powerful. I had so much empathy for the younger version of myself. She was so sad and in so much pain. She felt like maybe nothing would ever be okay again.
But I'm here today, and things are okay and they are so much better and I have learned so much from the experience.
And I don't know what the take home message is except that maybe we should all try in the moment to be as gentle with ourselves as our kinder, wiser selves would be. Because really, don't we all deserve so much grace? So much grace. No one deserves to feel lost or alone or forgotten. Every soul at every point in life deserves to feel loved and accepted unconditionally. Maybe in the moment we give ourselves grace, younger us transforms ever so slightly into wiser us. And that transformation is beautiful and powerful and graceful.
(ps wasn't my hair cute?!)