Diving into the past to change the future
First time author Melanie Britz has managed to do what some of us only wish we could do – go back in time to our 20-year old self and offer her the wisdom gained from years spent in the trenches of life. In her memoir Dive In – Unlocking happiness and miracles, Britz has literally jumped into the deep end of her young adult life, picking away at the painful memories of a family torn apart by a divorce no one saw coming and the trauma of a mother’s near suicide attempt.
“It was really a powerful process to see my younger self so clearly and to realise, 20 years later, how far I had come and how much I had learnt,” explains Britz.
Her memoir consists of letters penned to her younger self and was recently published.
“In this moment, you are in your second year of university in Johannesburg,” writes Britz. “So innocent, and so unprepared for what is to come.” This includes the loss of relationship and the violent murder of a precious childhood friend, which “is going to mark the moment we lose our faith in God (and life)”.
The letters were also about sharing how she overcame things that impacted on her while growing up. “As a child, I was never really taught how to handle my emotions. This caused huge problems in my adult life. Over time I learnt how to process difficult emotions and it’s one of the things I share in detail in the letters. Another part focuses on our subconscious programming, which makes an impact on us later on in our life.
“The book also focuses on self-love and acceptance and how one can learn to forgive yourself and others for mistakes that were made in the past.”
Other topics related to programming and which she touches on, include her struggle with beliefs around money and her weight.
Britz has taken the publication of her book a step further, after she realised just how many women could relate to what she had shared and the need for us to “Show Up” in our own lives to do the personal growth work needed at that moment. She created a website, www.showinguptoday.com, and in the conclusion to her memoir, invites others to share their own letters to their younger selves online.
“Sitting down and really thinking about my life and all the things I wanted to tell my younger self was a moment of deep introspection, but also a moment of power for me. By taking charge of the stories we tell ourselves about the shit that happened to us, the bad things we did and the pain we experienced, we are able to transmute them into helpful, shining examples of bravery and kindness to ourselves. It’s a special kind of magic, I think.”
Readers/listeners/viewers can use the e-mail below if they would like to submit a letter to be published on the website.