How can I prepare for a fulfilling life? (letter from an enquiring girl, aged 15)
Virginia Satir wrote this reply:
I am me.
In all the world there is no one else exactly like me. There are persons who have some parts like me, but no one adds up exactly like me. I have some parts like others but I don’t add up to be exactly like anyone else. Therefore, everything that comes out of me is authentically mine because I alone chose it.
I own everything about me – my body, including everything it does; my mind, including all its thoughts and ideas; my eyes, including the image of all my eyes behold; my feelings, whatever they may be – anger, joy, frustration, love, disappointment, excitement; my mouth and all that comes out of it – words polite, sweet or rough – correct and incorrect; my voice, loud or soft; and all my actions, whether they be to others or myself.
I own all my triumphs and successes, all my failures and mistakes. I own all my fantasies, my dreams, my hopes, my fears.
Because I own all of me, I can become intimately acquainted with me. Being very well acquainted with me, I can love me and be friendly with me in all my parts.
In being well-acquainted with myself, loving myself and being friendly with myself, I can then make it possible for all of me to work in my best interests.
I know that there are aspects about myself I do not know and there are parts of me that puzzle me.
As long as I am friendly and loving to myself I can courageously and hopefully look for the solution to the puzzles and continually look for ways to find out more about me – how I look and sound, what I say and do and how I think and feel.
No one else looks and sounds, says and does, and thinks and feels, exactly like me.
However I look and sound, whatever I say and do, and whatever I think and feel at a given moment, is me. It is authentic and represents where I am at that moment.
When I review later how I looked and sounded, what I said and did, and how I thought and felt, parts may turn out to be unfitting and I can discard that which is unfitting and keep that which proved fitting and learn something new in place of what I discarded.
I am me and I am OK.
I own me and therefore I can engineer me.
I can learn all the new things that I need and discard all the things that no longer fit.
I can see, hear, feel, think, say and do. I will then have the tools to survive, to be close to others, to be productive and to make sense out of the world of people and things outside me.