Talk Back

Letter to My Young Self

JET wants you to Talk Back.  This is one of the reader submissions that we received and opted to publish.  Want to make your voice heard?  Submit your commentary, TV show recap, poem, 500-word book excerpt or essay HERE.  Read all the rules  so you know how it works.  


You are not broken!

I see you sitting alone in your room listening to Tupac say “After every dark night, there’s a brighter day.” And through your tears you are able to smile, because you feel that sunshine is on its way. But you have shed too many silent tears at night, crying alone in that room. Head pounding while listening to the same ole’ tune.

You have gone through a lot in your short 10 years of life. I know how broken, empty and alone you feel inside. You simply want your parents and the people around you to see who you are, but unfortunately, many of them have yet to see their own lights. They have, and will continue to make mistakes. Unfortunately, you will suffer as a result. And in your adjustment, you have adopted a very negative way of thinking. It is not your fault, but I get it. See, for young black girls, we are taught that our best defense against pain and hurt is an offensive attitude. But baby girl, it will prevent you from doing a lot of things that you love in life.

So stop now.

I know that the world has not been a pretty place. It has left you believing that you are not worthy of mercy, grace or love. And because love in your life has been silent, you feel it doesn’t exist. But I’m here to tell you that you are not broken!

You are a manifestation of the love and light. That is your gift to the world. And while the only representations of love that you have seen/felt have been accompanied by pain, THIS DOES NOT HAVE TO BE YOUR STORY.  So do not be afraid to love.  If you are, you will never know true freedom. Be cautious, but not closed. Learn to forgive. You may not understand right now that holding on to hurt eats you alive. While the person doing the hurting sleeps well at night, you’re constantly living in the past, which means you sleep with ghosts.  So forgive those who wrong you, not for them, but for yourself.

No one but you and God can free you, so be free and healed, for you were bruised, but never broken. So I need for you to do US a favor. Look in the mirror and repeat after me:

I love Me!!

Say it every day until you believe it.