Dear Busy World, No.

 Dear Obligations, Distractions, and the Like,
I am answering your call, your tug, your noise with a quiet and resounding no. I am learning the power of stillness and the permission to give myself quiet. I am going to get to work 10 minutes early so I have quiet in my classroom before the onset of the inevitable and ever changing demands of my students, colleagues, and meetings. I’m meditating on my way to work instead of listening to the news, so I can enter my day relaxed with a clear head. I’m going to yoga to reset a mind that continuously reminds me of the million things I need to be doing. I’m going to yoga to release the electric buzz of anxiety racking my muscles. I’m going to bed earlier to rest in the embrace of my blankets and husband’s arms. Busy world, you’ll always be a nagging companion, so I’m learning to say no. I’m learning the power of stillness and the permission to give myself quiet, so that I’m ready to face you day in and day out with energy, peace, and clarity instead of a with exhaustion, anxiety, and confusion.
Sincerely,
A woman on her journey to purposeful peacefulness.

Sincerely,

Rachel Okun

 

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Dear Self, It is Okay To Walk Away

Dear Self,

Sometimes friendships aren't meant to last a lifetime. That doesn't make them any less special, however holding to relationships that no longer lift you up or help you reach your goals can quickly turn toxic. 

It's okay to walk away from those types of friendships in order to step into the next phase of your life. And you don't need to explain your reasons to anyone other than yourself. They may try to hold on to you because you do fill their cups, but they might not see how their negative energy is affecting you. There's no need to be rude when exiting these relationships, but be do be firm when telling them you are stepping away for a while. 

Don't be sad for the end of the friendships, be happy for the memories and the fun times you had with those people. More importantly, be excited for the new people you can now add to your life who can teach you new things and help you along the path you have started down. 

Some people want to stay where they are comfortable and that's okay... but that's not you, and it's a big step forward for you to realize who is holding you in place and who is helping you move forward. 

You're doing the right thing, don't let anyone make you feel bad for looking out for yourself and your future plans.

Sincerely, 

Me (Anonymous)

Dear Pediatrician, Handle Me with Care

Dear Pediatrician,

I realize that we rely on you way too much for too many things. I am sorry, and guess what I am going to ask of you even more; Please handle me with care. I realize I am not your patient, my child is. I realize that every week you see a hundred or more parents who bring their kids in with the same symptoms, the same concerns and the same crisis. 

I ask still, please handle me with care when I bring my children to you. Please remember that they are not the only ones hurting or sick. I, the parent, am hurting inside and sick with worry. I realize your focus is on figuring out the equation of symptom + symptom = which drug you prescribe so that I will walk away happy. 

But here is the thing. You know what would really make me happy? Is to feel heard and not shamed. 95% of what I am looking for when I walk into your office is:

1) To know I am not crazy. To have someone to bounce worry and ideas with, without being judged.

2) To be given hope, optimism, confidence, we have a plan, I can do this.

3) To be reminded I am not failing in every way possible at this parent thing (because guess what, if I am in your office, that is EXACTLY what I am thinking).

What would make me happy is to have confidence in you.  To have confidence in you is to be heard, to be empathized with as a person. To have confidence in you is to know that when you don't have an answer, you tell me that. You refer me to someone else, you say, you think a dietician, a counselor, a chiropractor may have a different perspective than you have and open that door that empowers me to go look for a well rounded understanding of my child's issues. Do not shut those doors and call me crazy for looking outside of just your bubble of knowledge. 

What would make me happy is feel validated, whether you agree with me or not, you can acknowledge my feelings are my feelings and should not be dismissed. I already feel crazy for having the feelings I have, I already think I am losing my mind (doesn't every parent?). Please handle me with as much care as you would a postpartum hormonal, anxiety bundle of a mess of a person, because oh wait, that is me, exactly me regardless of how old my kids are. When it comes to my kids, that is me within a second of walking in your door. 

What would make me happy is when we do not agree on a plan of action with MY children, remember my fear or lack of agreement has nothing to do with thinking you are uneducated. It has to do with that I am the one living with these decisions. I am the one who gets to go home and sit up all night with a screaming child when your solution doesn't work, or when things get worse, or when everything in my gut is screaming NO this is not RIGHT, I am the one who lives with the guilt of having not done enough. The burden of the right choice does not lay the most on you, it lays on us. Please handle me with the care you would with a person making a decision about life support. Sometimes even though you know that this is not a life or death situation, as the parent, we feel like it is. 

You often get to see me on my worst days. Handle me with the care with which you handle my child. By the time you see me I am a walking time bomb of shame, guilt, and worry. Handle me with care as if I may explode any second because that is how I feel. Remind me I am doing a good job. Remind me that you are listening. Remind me that my feelings are valid. Remind me that I am doing the best I can and every parent has been through this. 95% of what I need from you are these things when I see you. You got one class, if that, on counseling or bed side manner, and yet this is the majority of how you build trust with your parents to comply with and be open minded to your solutions. So I thank you in advance, before you walk through the door, breathe and handle US with care. 

Love,

Parents

P.S. To those pediatricians who do an exceptional job of handling the entire family with care, thank you. Thank you for making the choice to prioritize patients over insurance dollars and rules for lengths of visits. Thank you for aligning your personal values with the decision of where you work and who you work for. Thank you for your craft of making us feel heard and validated. Thank you for remembering how you felt when you were a parent of kids that age and for being human alongside of us.

This is a repost from True Conversations' National Blog http://www.true-conversations.com/blog/

Dear Husband, I Was Under the Influence of Sick Kids

Dear Husband,

You would think that when our children get sick we would become this super power team of germ fighting, crying stopping, and immune boosting together. I mean we basically kick ass when other crisis hit, like a change in salary or a flood in the basement or major life decisions. We decide which of us is awesome at what, huddle up, and go out there and kick some ass. Our communication is a strength I am proud of... well that is except for when the sun goes down and the kids are sick.

The reality is, for some reason, 3 years and 2 kids later, I am pretty sure I make us into arch enemies that come out at night when the kids get sick. So thank you for putting up with it.  I want you to know that what is coming out of my mouth is pretty much the exact opposite of what I really mean. I know what you are thinking, gosh this sounds a lot like our teen years. Girl would say "Leave! (but I really mean stay)." 15 years later Mama says, "Leave! (but I really mean stay). Thank you for going to sleep and waking up in the morning acting like nothing happened, still, all these years later. 

I am pretty sure that when our kids are sick, in pain, inconsolable, that same hormonal, fight of flight (and in this case FIGHT), self comes arrives fully loaded. I will blame evolution and the survival of our species that makes us mamas after nightfall into such angry bears when our children are sick and why fathers seem to have this calm and collected gene. What I mean to say is thank you. 

When I tell you "You're doing it wrong" what I really mean to say is, "I know you've tried 100 different things but maybe all he wants is option 101, don't give up you are doing great... I am going back to bed."

After I have said, "Just let me do it" what I mean to say is "You have been trying for so long, I can tell you are frustrated, let me give you a break and I feel guilty for not doing anything to help."

While I am sending you out at 11pm to get medicine across time I am paralyzed in the same position at home praying that somehow time moves super fast and you are home in 30 seconds.

Remember when you've been at it for hours and I come in finally and the baby calms down, remember you did most of the work, not me. It is like when I try to open that jar of pickles and try and try and when I give it to you you open it easily and I say, "Oh I loosened it for you." Except this time it is true. 

If nothing else remember that I mean to add "and thank you" to the end of everything I say when I am under the influence of a sick kid. Like when people add "in bed" to the end of their fortune in a fortune cooky. When I say "I got it, give him to me" remember to hear, "AND THANK YOU."

Sincerely,

Your wife

Dear Self, Pick Up One Tiny Piece of the Puzzle

 Dear Self,
Sitting in KFC because you miss my home country and crying over chicken wings and fries won't do anyone any good. You're here in this new world and you better snap out of it if you're going to make any kind of difference in the world. Your vision for things you want to create is so big, it can be overwhelming, and that's okay. It's so big you can't even see the whole picture from 30 feet.

So little bird, swoop down and pick up one tiny piece of the puzzle, and focus on that for a while. Play with it. Enjoy it. Shape it into something completely different than how you found it... And it will become exactly what it needs to be to fit into the rest of the puzzle.

You need to go down and get up close and really see and discover what you're working with ... And then fly up high again to sit back and see if you can figure out the big picture, and then back down again in the midst of everything. Up and down, slowly building things over time, like a nest. But don't look around and cry, little bird, because you aren't where you want to be yet. Get busy. Eventually you'll get the hang of it and enjoy flying.

Sincerely,

Anonymous

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