How to Love Your Past, Present, and Future Self
Every version of you deserves love and forgiveness. You are a worthy, multidimensional being.
You will go through many phases in this lifetime. You will meet and say goodbye to many versions of yourself. This is the human element of life. We change like the seasons because we have to. As years, cities, and people come and go, you ebb and flow like water, carrying yourself through both pain and joy.
Life calls upon you and you answer. The human part of you is adjustable, beautiful, unpredictable; easily influenced. Graciously elastic. But who you are, at your core, remains unchanging and pure. This is your soul, the timeless part of you that asks your life to shine brightly, intelligently, and compassionately. It asks you to love both yourself and the world.
Forgive your past self. They didn’t know what you know now.
We either think we know nothing or everything, and both sentiments are incorrect. Our younger selves were more perfect, capable, and entirely lost than we will ever realize. Utter brilliance and foolish inexperience can live in the same house. That’s who we were. In part, it’s who we still are.
Our past selves did the best they could, where they were, with what they had. This is all that matters. Life can be strange, unkind, uncomfortable. The roughness of living is mostly us attempting to understand, to persevere, to pray for success in whatever way life grants it. But messing up is a given, and ruminating on the past is the only certain way of getting stuck there.
A joyful, forgiving life requires you to enjoy your mistakes. Maybe you still haven’t realized, but you were being guided to live and learn the entire time you thought you were lost. Your misjudgments were always cushioned with an ever-present love and support. They’re more good than they are bad. It’s cliché because it’s true— your wrong turns were, and will continue to be, blessings in disguise.
The only opinion of you that matters? Your own.
You’ve always had yourself. Think about it. Through all this time, there has only been you. You were with yourself the first time you felt scared. The first time you felt loved. The first time you realized what you wanted and what you didn’t. You know yourself better than anyone else, and that’s the way it should be. You’re your own best friend, your own biggest supporter. Honor every version of yourself by loving each one unconditionally.
The shy kid with the scraped knees? Love them deeply.
The naive teenager with the too trusting heart? Love them deliberately.
The lonely college grad with a head full of uncertainty and hope? Love them relentlessly.
Choose to love them all equally but don’t dwell too long. They were all perfect in their own ways, at their own times. They taught you that both bravery and humility are required to grow and learn.
The realest part of you always stays the same.
You know exactly what it feels like to know yourself. You felt it when you were five years old, and you feel it now. It sometimes fluctuates in waves of intensity, but it’s more or less a familiar sensation— all at once bright, electric, safe, knowing, seamless. Powerful yet gentle. Magic in a body.
This is your soul coming forward. It’s the truest part of you; completely good, consistently pure, never changing, and divinely created. It knows how to work miracles. It doesn’t understand insecurity, fear, or cruelty. And you strengthen it by loving yourself.
Love every bit of you. You’re an evolving magic.
Self-love is like prayer— potent, steady, asking you to believe. To believe in both its power and yourself. It gets stronger the more deliberate thought and intention you pour into it. But you know all this well, from your years and years of trial and error. You know exactly what it feels like to live with the alternative; a cold, unsteady, lonely upward climb. Those days are over.
Self-love isn’t luck. It’s the gift you’ve spent years learning to carve out of fragile moments and hopeful thoughts. It’s a piece of carefully constructed, sacred art. And it only gets more beautiful with time. Say yes to all the hope and love you have inside you. You’ve only unlocked a small fraction of it thus far.
Tomorrow doesn’t exist yet, but you already know who you’ll be. Gracious, deliberate, loving, bright. Magic.