Letter to My Inner Child

Yandi Hlomuka
3 min readOct 7, 2020

Little Ayanda

I’ve dreaded writing this letter for a long time out of fear that my words wouldn’t carry any weight after all the disappointments you’ve suffered. I apologize for the delay.

You’ve had the world on your shoulders for so long that being a child eludes you. I apologize for that.

I’m sorry that you learnt to be strong before learning to ride a bicycle. Life has been unkind, and the people around you added to that.

Doctors diagnosed you with an autoimmune disease that forced you to survive more than live. It kept you confined with no relief to climb that tree, to run and fall, and to play until dusk. I’m sorry that your illness was used as a weapon against you on days when you couldn’t summon the strength to get out of bed. You are not a burden and have never been.

You’ve endured a lot a pain alone, that has led you to believe that there’s nothing else in the world for you. That’s far from the truth. I’m sorry for all the times that your voice was silenced even before uttering a word.

I’m sorry that you were left to navigate through life without kind guidance, a safety net to fail and learn, and assurance. I’m sorry for all the hugs you didn’t get, the affirming words you didn’t hear, the harsh words and scolding when you sought comfort and the love you didn’t experience. Love that didn’t require you to overextend yourself for a glimpse. One that didn’t keep score of deeds done. One that wasn’t taken away from you each time you fell short on impossible standards. You’re a child and love should always be abundant.

You are beautiful, smart, creative and funny. I’ll never tire of hearing you laugh. Your vulnerability is not a flaw, it makes you human. Allow yourself to feel every emotion and all of them are valid.

Beautiful love exists for you, sweetheart. The love that doesn’t hurt, one you need not chase or beg to stay. The love that loves you for being.

I am here to hold your hand, guide you, dance and sing out of tune with you. You are a treasure. Your dreams are valid and you will achieve whatever you put your mind to. The world is aching for someone as compassionate and genuine as you.

May these words set you free from the pain you’ve held dear because there hasn’t been an alternative. Your voice matters, use it in a form you’re most comfortable.

I love you! I love you with all that I am and for who you are. These are not just words to pacify or give you false hope. I vow to listen, to be gentle and fuel your fire without pain.

Live, dance, laugh. You deserve all of it. You are amazing.

I love you, always.

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Yandi Hlomuka

A woman and her notebook under the tree at the top of the hill, doodling all the thoughts that her lips fail to utter.