You don’t know me yet, but I promise you one day, you will. I just turned 36, which depending what age you’re reading this at — seems like an age you will never reach. You do reach it, I promise — see, here I am. I am writing to you today to tell you about how proud you will be of yourself in the year 2021. While in these pictures, you’re seeing yourself running a marathon PR, your self-love — shockingly- has nothing to do with numbers. I know that is hard to hear right now. I know that you are likely counting days, maybe even hours or minutes since your last battle with yourself. I know that numbers on food, on a scale, on a whole lot of things are ruling and ruining your life. I am so sorry. You didn’t deserve so much pain back then- or ever. You didn’t deserve to suffer in silence.
You see, we didn’t know back then how great we could be.
Back then, we believed that we were poison, that we were only good at hurting others — and especially ourself. We didn’t know better- and no one told us that we were hurting inside, that we were unwell, and that we could get better.
I am here to tell you that it does get better, and not because of some miracle or magical thinking (although some did help a bit), but mostly because of the blood, sweat, tears, really hard work, grit, and resilience that YOU put in. You might not believe it now, but you become willing to talk about your pain — honestly- and use that healing to help others. Your inner world becomes calm(er), you are able to forge healthy connections, you can and DO hard things.
You start to get to know your own strength in ways you never imagined were possible to you. It takes a long time, I won’t lie to you, but you are able to go beyond dis-ease. You are able to heal, be present, and build strength.
Today, I ran a marathon in a city that contains layers of emotion, and multitudes of pain. I ran past a campus where I once thought my life would end, and — joyfully- I ran past attractions that I now take my kids to when I visit my family. Yes — you heard me- kids. Two beautiful, miracles that are extensions of your own heart. I ran with tears streaming down my face in a way I have never experienced. I ran thinking of you, watching from the past, and I cried for all the hurt you have. This is my “hello” from the other side- today we CRUSHED this race. How? We ran all 26.2 miles while feeling grounded, connected, and energized. We ran with JOY, we ran with humility, and we ran with presence.
I am here to tell you that you are a f*cking miracle.
I am here to tell you that, just as your grandma so aptly named you Ya-Li, G-d is with you- today where I am, and today where you are.
I beg you to trust us, because we have great things ahead of us.
Trust me, because I can’t do this without you.