Christopher Hoult

Software engineer, actor, speaker, print designer

As part of an exercise in self-love and self-compassion a couple of months ago, I wrote a letter to myself. It was a tough thing to write, and even reading it all this time later I find it hard to accept. Yet I know that this is, on some level, true, and I should revisit it more. It feels very self- serving to publish this on my blog, but it's about time I tried putting something more positive - and less foodie - on it.

Dear Chris,

I love you.

You are a kind, generous, talented individual for whom I have all the time in the world. Your sense of equality, your ability to listen, your willingness to help others in their time of need - all of these things prove to me that you are a good person.

I know you've lived with a lot of darkness over the past couple of years, but that is behind you - you've committed to learning more about why you feel the way you do, and to make sure you don't repeat the mistakes of the past. I know you don't put much stock in yourself when you look in the mirror, but that's because you can't see what I can see. You can't appreciate how you make me feel when you focus your attention on me.

You're only just learning how to open up yourself to others, how to show your vulnerability - I know it's scary, but it's so rewarding when you discover how it feels to have laid yourself bare like that. It will take a lot of time and work, but ultimately it will make you a happier person, I promise.

Keep looking for things that make you feel good. Keep looking for things that help define you as an individual. Keep looking into that hole inside you and working on finding things to fill it. Answers are out there, but if you stop looking, you'll never find it.

I know it's tough to accept, but mistakes don't define you. Stop focussing on them, and see all the rest of you; accept all the rest of you.

Perhaps if you value your positive achievements more, you push yourself more, lift yourself off that sofa and get those little things done, maybe you'll be able to achieve what you think you can. Or maybe just give yourself a break - you get so much done anyway, and regardless of whether you think yourself a fraud, on the outside you blow everyone away.

You're awesome - and that's because you're you.

All my love,