A Letter to (Myself? You?)

Today I shared a video on IGTV reading aloud a letter I had written for my “therapy homework”. Below you’ll find the words I shared if you prefer reading over listening….

Description:

A few days ago I shared a snippet of a letter I wrote on Instagram and asked if you would be interested in reading the full letter. 100% of the people who voted, voted YES.

In therapy last week we started “Belief Work”. Belief Work is identifying beliefs I have about myself that are not serving me (lies), uprooting them, and replacing them with truth. A lot of these detrimental beliefs took root after my rape experience in college, and although I have healed a lot from that time, there are still a few things that I haven’t been able to shake… I haven’t quite healed what being raped made me believe about myself.

In our previous session, my therapist invited me to imagine that an 18 year girl confided in me about her own survivor story and believed that she was “dirty”, “a slut”, “unlovable” and “worthless” (all the words I had used to describe myself at the time) and what I would say to her.

This scenario is not very far fetched for me. Many young women and men have trusted me with their stories after I became vocal about mine, and I have found that each time I try to comfort another survivor, I tell them something I needed to hear myself. This letter, I quickly discovered, was no different.

Letter:

Dear little lightworker,

This letter is to remind you of the TRUTH of WHO YOU ARE.

I know how it feels to be where you are right now. Lost in the empty dark room of your mind, numb to all that is both inside and outside of you. It feels as if the connection to your inherent divinity – your inherent goodness – has been severed and with it, your identity has been lost too.

Luckily, just because it seems that way, doesn’t make it true.

In fact, I invite you to look at this experience as an initiation of sorts – no matter how brutal – this experience is an invitation to dive deep.

Since you were little you know you were called to do great things. You were called to have a big impact on people’s hearts and minds.

But in order to realize this calling, you must intimately understand the depth of the human experience, in all forms.

There is beauty in all of it. In every tear and every gasp of air.

It is beautiful because no matter how much you feel, believe or experience the ugly of this world, NOTHING can change the truth of your nature. None of it will ever change how much you have to give or how much you are worth to the world.

In fact, one could argue that the more tragedy you endure the more you will have to give. But ONLY if you are able to transmute those experiences into light.

Sweet one, you were born into this world a shining bright and beautiful soul. I’m convinced there were shimmers of fairy dust around you when you emerged from your mother’s womb.

So pure.

Purity is not a thing that can be lost by the way, only forgotten.

This life is about remembering who you are.

I know what you are searching for desperately in the arms of strangers. You wish to be SEEN because you can’t see yourself. But I am here today to tell you that I see you. I know your truth. I can see it clearly without the obstruction of the dark, and you need to know that what I see is beautiful. You are just as bright and wonderous as the place from which you came.

Everything you feel right now can and will be healed.

The triggers will go away, the Numbness will dissolve into joy. However, the confusion will come and go until you are able to solidify your faith in yourself and in the universe.

You may not believe me now, but a day will come when people won’t be able to do anything but smile when they see you.

You are already the warmth you seek.

You are already the bravery you need.

You are already the love you desire.

It is all there inside of you already, waiting for you to take notice.

Love, Annabelle

View this post on Instagram

A few days ago I shared a snippet of a letter I wrote on Instagram and asked if you would be interested in reading the full letter. 100% of the people who voted, voted YES. In therapy last week we started “Belief Work”. Belief Work is identifying beliefs I have about myself that are not serving me (lies), uprooting them, and replacing them with truth. A lot of these detrimental beliefs took root after my rape experience in college, and although I have healed a lot from that time, there are still a few things that I haven’t been able to shake…. I haven’t quite healed what being raped made me believe about myself. In our previous session, my therapist invited me to imagine that an 18 year girl confided in me about her own survivor story and believed that she was “dirty”, “a slut”, “unlovable” and “worthless” (all the words I had used to describe myself at the time) and what I would say to her. This scenario is not very far fetched for me. Many young women and men have trusted me with their stories after I became vocal about mine, and I have found that each time I try to comfort another survivor, I tell them something I needed to hear myself. This letter, I quickly discovered, was no different. PS I AM SO SORRY ABOUT THE DINGING IN THIS VIDEO! The general manager from the restaurant was messaging me about new equipment 🤦🏽‍♀️

A post shared by [Formerly @annasbanana123] (@letterstomylittlesisters) on

“I love you, kid”

Okay yes, I just posted a picture of myself crying. Here’s the story:

During my last week in L.A. I had a MAJOR back spasm that left me barely able to walk or sit or breathe without pain. It caught me totally off guard and made me so angry because I had spend so much money and time the month before trying to heal myself from the same back spasm + pain. I thought I had fixed it.

My best friend + former roommate, Rylee, dropped everything that day to help me schedule and then drive me to an Alphabiotics Healer and Acupuncture appointment.

The first stop was with, Terry, the Alphabiotics healer. Alphabiotics is a healing modality that is based on an energy release technique founded by a chiropractor. Terry explained to me how the stress I have been under had been affecting my body. He reminded me how mind + body are connected and told me the goal of the session would be to release. I slowly and painfully got myself onto an elevated table and he worked his magic. He cradled my head in his arms and we worked through a few deep breaths before quickly twisting my head to the side. I felt a crack in my neck and down my back.

“It’s okay” he said as he stroked my head. “Let it out.” He paused.

I had no idea what he was doing or what we were waiting for.

And then suddenly a huge wave of emotion rolled up from the depth of my chest and tears started streaming.

“Good, release it. Let it go.”

And then we did the other side.

On my way out, this angel of a man told me I did a good job, and then said “In case you haven’t heard it today, I love you” I burst into tears again immediately. After all the treatments I’ve had this week those words were the most healing.

After my appointment, I felt exhausted and hungry (crying is a lot of work) I slowly wobbled down the street to get lunch. I allowed my tears to fall while I was walking and texting one of my friends that lives in New York. She was having a hard day with her depression, so I decided to venmo her $5 to get some flowers, cause flowers make everyone happy. It was my best attempt to be there for her despite the distance.

Shortly after receiving the notification of my tiny gift, she sent me a video of her thanking me with tears streaming down her face.

When I saw Amanda’s video I immediately thought “how beautiful are her tears”

Little did she know, I was also having a really rough morning and at this point, had stopped to sit on a bench and cry outside of a bank in Santa Monica trying to avoid feeling judged by the tourists walking by.

Eventually, I made it to lunch and back into my car to be zoomed off to my next appointment. In the car I thought about how important tears are, and how grateful I was for people like Amanda who share theit tears and healing unapologetically.

The culmination of my experiences from that morning shifted my perspective dramatically about crying. I knew it was good for me but was so afraid of feeling judged for it. I went from being worried about being judged for crying in public, so thinking the salty water running down my cheeks is probably the most beautiful thing I’ve seen in a long time.

I took this picture in the midst of that realization.

They are tender.
They are sweet.
They are cleansing.
They are healing.

After seeing my tears this way, they’ve flowed out of me more easily too, along with any pain or judgment living in my body.

I ended up sleeping the entirity of the next day. And I was back to walking again the following morning. That’s how beautifully powerful they are.

I encourage everyone to cry at least once this week. So much stress can get stuck in your body and it causes pain and disease if you don’t work through it and allow yourself to release it.


Take this post as an invisible permission slip.
Free yourself of the Judgement.

Cry.
Release.
You’ll be able to walk or maybe run better than you ever could before.

A Grieving Human

I’m standing on a terrace overlooking a calm blue ocean. Palms trees sway in the ocean breeze that is kissing my cheeks and kicking up the ends of my hair. I stare up at the sky with tears streaming down my face. 

This is unfamiliar territory. Every time my heart aches now, I think “this is a hole I will have for the rest of my life.” It’s a helpless feeling to think that the pain I feel will never change. It’s humbling. I tried to escape it, but it still found me. Even on the terrace of a 5 million dollar apartment on an island on the other side of the country, there is no escaping it.

My friend Sofia sent me an article about grief by a woman named Sue Hawkes. Sue says “grieving is one of those profound, vulnerable experiences that make us feel incredibly human and entirely mortal.”

These are the perfect words to describe my experience with grief thus-far.

On many occasions, I have felt reduced to a helpless child and elevated to a powerful woman almost simultaneously. I have ventured across a wide field of emotions. I have ventured so far that I have found myself accessing levels of pain and emotion I’ve never experienced before.

It seems to be an initiation of sorts. In many ways, being ushered through this darkness seems to be a journey back to self. No matter how much my chest knots up in pain, I still am grateful for the experience to feel what I feel.  I am reminded of who I am in the most vulnerable way. 

I am reminded that I am human.

4 Months, a New Journey Begins.

Today marks 4 full months since my dad died.

Since he killed himself. And left us behind.

I’ve spent the past 4 months floating through a range of challenging emotions and although it was evident yesterday I am not done grieving the loss of someone I love, I’m ready to share my story. Our story.

I’m back in L.A. this week, for the first time in 4 months.

I keep telling people that I don’t feel like it’s been that long. In my head, it feels like I was only gone for a week… so when I saw that my neighbor’s puppy was a grown-ass dog now I cried.

This past month has been so strange because I decided to start living again. I’ve been working with a therapist that encouraged me to start working out again and reaching out to old friends. But it’s strange to live with death. So tears of grief still roll down my cheeks, while I walk down the sidewalk even though I’m feeling more alive than I did before.

This experience has stripped me down. Completely. It has uprooted everything.
I ended my relationship.
I quit my job.
I put down my life in California to pick up responsibilities as the Executrix of my dad’s estate + to run his restaurant in Texas. A business I’m truly not interested in and know nothing about. #awesome

This week I came back to L.A. to pack up my car and drive it back to Texas. God only knows how long I’ll be there. The few days after my plane landed in LA I felt so angry at my dad. I’m so mad at him for making me leave everything behind. And so grateful at the same time because I’ve learned more about BEING instead of DOING. I’ve learned about the importance of legacy, and community, and grieving. I can feel the shift inside me, the ripple effect of this tragedy is redirecting me to a deeper purpose and deeper growth. And I have chosen to go with the flow.

In short, this time has been confusing and challenging and frustrating and fucking weird. It has been beautiful, and painful, and life-changing. It has been big, and made me feel small, completely worthless, and so held and loved and supported.

I’m excited to come to the page now to share the writing that the journey so far has inspired. I’m excited to evolve, for the change in direction, and for the hope that I may honor my dad’s life by growing up and passing his love and creativity forward.

The Wave is Here.

I drew this by accident.

The wave has been my symbol for 2019.

Actually, it started out as the phrase “Stepping into the Tide” and slowly revealed itself in my life as a wave. I saw it everywhere… on murals, at restaurants, in gifts + on jewelry. I even DREW IT BY ACCIDENT a few days ago (image above).

The wave is a symbol of change, of force, and sometimes, even of fear.

When I was a kid, we used to go to the beach in the summers. I remember watching “huge” waves crash onto the shore and thinking that Mother Nature must be grumpy about something. I also distinctly remember being caught in a wave a time or two at the beach wondering if I was being punished for throwing sand too hard as I was tossed and tumbled by crashing waves. Those “near-death” experiences instilled a deep god-fearing type of respect for the ocean. I decided never to throw handfuls of sand into the water again. I didn’t want to make her angry!

Before I experienced being tossed by waves at the beach, I never knew that it was even possible for mother nature to erupt upward with force strong enough to knock me over. So the idea of a similar wave coming over my life gives me a little bit (a lot a bit) of anxiety. But it’s there to remind me to LET GO of the control and trust that the forceful currents the Universe has us cradled in, is FOR us. Things that happen in our life is only for our soul’s mission on earth.


When I created my original Vision Board, I broke up my year into 4 quarters to help me schedule goals…. much like businesses do quarterly reports. The Vision Packet I used to outline my goals and dreams for 2019 is available in the shop for free.

In April, I wrote a blog post that I never published about feeling restless. I felt like I wanted to shed. It felt like nothing I had outlined on my vision board fit me anymore. (I went ahead and published it so you can read here.)

What I didn’t realize, was that I was experiencing part 2 of 4 of the wave.

Q1 was “Footing”. Stepping into the water, and getting acclimated to the temperature. This was about Acceptance and release. At the beginning of the year, I practiced being open and letting go of my desire to control everything.

Q2 was “Ripple” which felt more like a pull. The moment water starts to move, react to you being in the water and then pulls back. Something is coming. I started to feel like my life didn’t fit me anymore. I was beginning to get really unhappy. I was anticipating and hoping for change.

Q3 was “Rolling” – which is a really nice way to say that my soul would literally be rolling around in a metaphorical typhoon. Being tossed and turned by life events – this is the scariest part of the wave. the part where you’re not sure if you’ll make it back up to the surface again.

On June 6th, my dad committed suicide, and my grandma was admitted to the ICU where she laid heavily sedated for a few days. My year-long relationship ended, I moved back to Texas (where dreams go to die) to take on the responsibility of being the executor of my dad’s estate and to help my family take care of my grandma who has had a remarkable recovery but still needs assistance. Being under the stress of the intense change, displacement, and loss made me anxious. For the first time in my life, I truly believed I was unloved which sent me spiraling into a 3-hour long panic attack that almost landed me in Bayview Behavioral Hospital. Most people would refer to this as “the dark night of the soul” I think. When you hit rock bottom. Feeling lost and disoriented. The world absolutely caves in and displaces every sense of yourself there is no up or down. Only spinning and pain.

Q4 was “Flow”. After the big crash, there is stillness, a new breath of air. It’s emerging to the surface after everything and seeing a new landscape before you. I haven’t gotten to this part of the journey yet, but I know I’m getting there. Things are beginning to flow a little bit better, and I think I will be seeing a new horizon soon.

Credit: Underpants and Overbites (@underpantsandoverbites)