Happy Tuesday everyone! Go team for making it through another Monday. For our wandering today I would like to just get straight into it and start with a bit of story time. So let’s go!
A few times throughout this week I found myself at the receiving end of a few particularly poignant questions.
- When do you think you will be able to start monetizing thewanderinglines?
- What are you trying to accomplish with thewanderinglines?
- Do you think thewanderinglines will amount to anything?
Now, there were other questions asked but those three really stuck with me. Me being me, I set about trying to answer them. It went, how shall I put this, really fucking badly. I panicked and ended up crying in my closet. Not my finest moment but I will not pretend it didn’t happen. Because it did. Me, Elizabeth Fletcher, aged 21, sat in my closet in West Sacramento, California bawling my eyes out because I had been made to feel that my idea was stupid.
How ridiculous is that?
I am a proud to be a very strong-willed, highly opinionated woman dedicated to speaking her truth and there I was, reduced to a blubbering mess in my damn closet over what exactly? Fear. More specifically, the fear of my voice not being enough.
Since the birth of this site I have struggled with creating content, with setting the direction I wanted to take this site, and with whether I wanted to continue investing myself in TWL.
news flash: I’m terrified
I have found myself trapped in my head a lot while exploring these questions. Unfortunately, most of that time was spent constantly criticizing myself instead of answering the questions. There was a lot of negativity in my mind. There is still a lot if I am being honest…and that guts me. I created TWL with the intent of building a community where those who are struggling with their mental health, can come and struggle a little less and here I was, reviling in self-disgust because of TWL. Goddess, I felt like I had royally fucked up. Where had I gone wrong?
I didn’t do a thing wrong!
It took some time but slowly, I began to realize I had done nothing wrong except allow someone else’s energy to negatively impact me. It was then that I got angry. Like, really angry. Like, imma burn some shit down, angry. Which was not my favorite feeling because it was anger directed not only at myself, but at the person who had dared to voice those questions: my partner. And that left me in a bit of a conundrum – I didn’t want to be angry at my partner or myself. I just wanted to help people be happy.
And that brings us to today’s post where I would like to take a moment to reintroduce myself and this site. I will not be erasing the content I have posted until this point but I will be restructuring my site so it better aligns with my newfound intentions. So, without further ado…
a new introduction for a new purpose
My name is Elizabeth Fletcher. I am the one and only person behind thewanderinglines; I launched this site with no help, I write every word with not a bit of assistance, I proof read every damn word 3+ times before publishing, I create all the images you see (thank the goddess for Canva my dudes)…
I think you get it, I am the only one behind this shit show. I put in hours of unpaid work and in return I receive an average of 1 view a day…1 view. And do you wanna know why I keep working despite the lack of return? YOU. I do it for those of you who struggle to find a moment of positivity in your day. For those of you who need someone to be there for them when you can’t be there for yourself. I am here for you. So welcome my friend, to thewanderinglines.
Alright, let’s get into this. Today I want to walk you through the first step I took in my journey of self-acceptance. I know, crazy right?! Literally two days ago I was posting random bullshit about crochet patterns and now, here we are, and I’m trying to sell myself as some spirit guide? Well, not exactly. I don’t have a degree in, well, anything actually. I don’t work for a mental health professional or a spiritual health professional. I’m just me. A 21 year old, doing her best to live a life of happiness and love. Which I felt qualified me to write this series on self-acceptance, you are free to disagree, just do so elsewhere.
step 1: I’m sorry, thank you.
To get yourself started on this journey I need you to find yourself a spot where you feel safe. Preferably this space is quiet and will allow for you to send your gaze inward. And before you even think about skipping this part, imma need you to not. This is the time to build a strong foundation so you can get the most healing energy out of this exercise.
Alright so you found your safe spot – good job girl! Now, I need you to get yourself a box of tissues and something that brings you comfort (I brought a fresh cup of coffee with me). Once you’ve got those things, then go ahead and get yourself comfortable in your safe spot.
Now the real work begins. I want you to breath. That’s all, just breath. You don’t have to get fancy with it – this isn’t yoga class. As you are breathing, start to let your mind wander as you focus on your breath. You’re doing great! Next up, I want you to construct a mental image of a younger you. I personally, constructed younger mes at various different ages but that is really going above and beyond. Take as long as you need to build this younger you in your minds eye. The more detailed you make this image, the more healing you will receive. Got your younger you ready? Good good, once they are firmly there, say hi and do your best to make them feel comfortable and accepted because they are just as nervous as you are my friend.
Okay, here comes the emotionally exhausting part (but like, a really good emotionally exhaustion), I want you to apologize to your younger self. *GASP* I know, crazy but give it a go. Apologize for all the negative things you have told them, for not being kind to their body, for not listening to their voice, for not believing in them. Apologize for all the things that happened to your younger self that have since been used to inflict pain on your adult psyche. Apologize for whatever you feel the need to apologize for. Be open and honest with yourselves, even when it feels awkward.
THIS NEXT BIT IS REALLY IMPORTANT SO PLEASE READ IT CAREFULLY!
Our intention with apologizing is not to dwell on the past but to acknowledge our traumas in a safe and healthy way so we can move past them. In other words, don’t use this as an excuse to throw yourself a pity party. With that out of the way, let’s keep going.
Giving yourself permission to cry as you apologize is hard and may be something you immediately decide to skip but it is a huge part of this process so, if you are feeling brave, give it a try. As you cry, you will let it all out: the pain, the fear, the anxiety, the anger. And you deserve to let go. Those feelings they no longer serve you; they are keeping you locked in the past. With those feeling acknowledged, it is time to move forward and find something that does serve you. I am going to help you start that search, by asking you to switch gears from apologizing to thanking our younger selves. So once you have done all of your apologizing, take a quiet moment to settle and begin thinking on what you wish to thank your younger self for.
When you are ready, begin by thanking your younger self for their courage. For their uniqueness. Thank them for being strong enough to grow up before it was their time. Thank them for not judging you. Thank them for everything and anything you have been using as a weapon to hurt your adult self. And then? Cry some more. Make like Elsa, and let that shit go. All of it. This is a new start where the shackles of the past can no longer bind you.
We are reaching the end of our first step towards self acceptance but before we do, I want you to spend a few minutes with your younger self. They may have lots to say or there may be complete silence. However they act, take this moment to simply be with them. And when you’re ready begin filling every space inside of you with gratitude.
Let that gratitude fill you until you are about to burst and then, put all of that gratitude into one final thank you. And now, I want you to ask your younger self to leave to return to their place in the your adult mind. If they have forgiven you and you them, then they should go quietly to their place. If they go kicking and screaming then you may need to schedule a few more sit downs with them; and that is perfectly normal. This is not a race. This is not a one size fits all journey. This is your journey and it will move at your pace. So don’t stress man.
For being so brave and facing your younger selves so openly, I would like to offer a bit of comfort by sharing part of what I faced when I spoke with my younger self.
To start, a brief backstory of my life; I didn’t have an atrocious childhood, but I also didn’t have much of a childhood. My mother and father split when I was 4. I lived with my mother because my father was (and still is) an alcoholic, drug addict and emotionally abusive (borderline physically abusive) person. By the time I was 6, I understood what it meant to be responsible for another person. My ailing grandmother, who supposedly lived with us to help my mom, more often than not required someone to help her and as the eldest, I fit the bill. My mother did everything in her power to ensure I didn’t have to raise my younger brother, as she had to raise her siblings. But, life happens and someone had to be responsible for him when mom was at work, grandma was napping, and dad was out partying. So I stepped up, and I continued to step up when it was necessary. Because of that, I became an adult at a very young age.
And I didn’t realize it until a few months ago, but growing up so fast really fucked me up as a person. Last week, my partner off-handedly said “you are always so serious, I’m just trying to get you to laugh a little” and I just about broke down because he’s right – I am too serious. But instead of setting up a nice little pity party for myself, I set about searching for why I have this need to be serious.
Guess where I found my answer? DING DING DING, WE HAVE A WINNER!
I found it within my younger self. I found more when I apologized to toddler Liz for not playing more. And more when I apologized to school aged Liz for being so painfully shy. And more when I apologized to preteen Liz for being so cruel to her dreams. And more when I apologized to teenage Liz for not respecting her body. And more when I apologized to adult Liz for not allowing her to soften as a person. That’s when something really awesome happened. As I was sitting at my desk, ugly crying, I felt the need to thank myself. So I let my intuition guide me and I began thanking my younger selves. I thanked my toddler self for loving to learn. I thanked my school aged self for being strong enough to stand up for others. I thanked my preteen aged self for staying true to herself. I thanked my teenage self for being strong enough to pull herself out of a dangerously depressed state. And I thanked my adult self for trying to better herself.
real talk though
While I learned an insane amount about myself through this process, I learned the most when I shared my experience and made an effort to offer support so others could have a similar healing experience. And when I learned that, I learned that thewanderinglines will amount to something for the very simple reason that I want it too. I learned that I am enough, exactly how I am, whether I earn money from this site or not. And in learning all of those things, I was able to see that this was my first step towards self-acceptance. Let’s just say, that was a really happy day for me.
now it’s your turn
I want to help you have the same chance to experience such a profound growth. And to help ensure that it happens, I have included a free, downloadable, PDF that breaks down Step 1 into bite size morsels. It’s 1 page long, looks really pretty AND comes with a fun little congratulations flyer. I really hope you enjoy it!
So, if you are currently looking for a way to move forward in your life but feel as though you are being held back by something, I highly recommend having a little chat with your younger self. It is a great place to start healing your mind and the best news is, you have someone there to help you along the way – me. I am here for you as you begin your journey towards self-acceptance.
If you are ever in need of a kind voice, reach out to me. I am here for you. I will listen without judgement. I will offer support without dictating your next steps. And most important of all, I will be simply be there for you because guess what. You matter to me. Your voice, your story, YOU. MATTER.
So stay strong little one. Don’t give up quite yet, tomorrow is another day and there is much this world has to offer if you know where to look. Stick with me and we will wander through this, together.
Happy Tuesday and happy wandering.