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Dear Daughter,

“You may not be able to start over but you can start now.” A phrase I once heard that didn’t quite make sense to me at first. The more I thought about it, the more insight I found in what this phrase really means. Sounds a little backwards, right? Technically, I’m supposed to offer you some sort of hope in spite of the past. I’m supposed to tell you “It’s never too late to start over.” Don’t get me wrong; sometimes that’s true. In some cases, you will be able to completely start over, erasing a defaulted approach while wiping away careless mistakes. On the contrary, however, there may be times when you are not truly able to start over entirely.

Slightly confused? Let’s look at it this way. Think of your life as a single sheet of paper. You only get one sheet, and every experience is precisely written, day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute. As each experience is jotted down, there are times when we want to erase what was written, but then we notice it was written so intensely that even if we eliminate the words, the letters still remain imprinted. As we look at the sheet in its entirety, there’s no way to go back and write over the darkened spots. Even if we could erase the light-hearted fragments of our past, you can tell that there was once something else written and, while writing over it may emphasize the change, it doesn’t completely erase the fragments underneath.

Oh, how I wish this weren’t true. I wish I could offer you hope that you could telepathically travel back in time and relive some of the key moments in your life changing the thoughts, feelings, and emotions that were left behind, but that simply can’t be done. No matter how much we dwell on the past, we cannot erase the embarrassing, hurtful, annoying, irrational, disappointing, disastrous, unfortunate experiences we have faced. But wait… THERE IS HOPE! What we can do is start where we left off, changing our story from that point on to what we want it to be, and keeping in mind that these very experiences have shaped us into who we are today.

Beloved, never forget you may not always be able to start over but you can absolutely start now. So, start loving now. Start forgiving now. Start dreaming now. Start planning now. Start living NOW!!!

Live through the process,

Ana J.