A letter from myself at age 80

Dear Diana:

Listen. Listen to the River. He is your father, and he does love you so. Listen to your father. You don’t have to do what he says, just let him know you’ve heard him. He is the parent you respected, because he respected you. There’s not much you can do about your mother, and you’re doing it. You’re learning about projection, now, how it works, but you still don’t know why you trigger it in others. You will. Just know this: she has failed you, which is why she tries so hard to convince you that you failed her. Don’t buy her crap for another minute. You’ve got so much better ahead, and that woman has poisoned enough of your life for you.

To the things that still trouble your heart: you did nothing wrong. You are starting to see that, and you are rising above it in ways you can’t yet know. You were honest, open-hearted – a little too much, as it was your first try at it – and you got hurt. You precipitate change for the better, and people who take their power from keeping things anchored with despair are going to hate you. Their hatred is a sign as to how much good you do; learn to love them for their hatred, as it is a sign that you have real power, based in truth, while they have to conjure lies about themselves and about you to stay in control.

Mike is still here. You’ve hurt each other, but what makes you gracious is that the hurts are never done in retaliation. They are the pains of moving through life. It’s never meant to be easy, but you don’t make it hard. Neither one of you is a selfish person, and that will steer you through life.

Oh dear, you have so much better ahead. You’re really going to love this next part. Promise me you’ll milk it for all it’s worth – make the most of it.

All my love,

Ms. Rajchel at age 80