The letter below is part of an ongoing series featuring letters from authors to their teen selves. If you're a published author who'd like to participate in this series, we'd love to have you. Just click here and let us know you're interested. Today's guest is Martha Hunt Handler, author of Winter Of The Wolf, out now.
Dear Teenage Martha,
I want to give you a great big hug and reassure you that, despite present circumstances, it will all work out. I know how very tough it is to be you right now. You’ve always felt different from others, like no one really gets you. You know things, but you aren’t sure why you know them, or if your feelings can be trusted. And because you can’t find others who feel similarly, you’re starting to believe that you’re crazy, or, at the very least, extremely odd. I promise you are neither. In fact, this knowing is actually our superpower! And though I still don’t fully understand it at age 61, what I have come to realize is that, for whatever reason, we are more easily able to access some of what we've learned in other lifetimes (as you've already started to realize, this is not our first soul experience on Earth), and we're also able to access entities in other realms (call it heaven or whatever you like, but it’s where our ancestors, our loved ones who’ve already passed over, and our spiritual guides reside). If this sounds a bit far-fetched, tuck this information away and pull it out in the future when it makes more sense.
In addition to your knowing, you also have a black wolf as your totem animal. He shows up in our dreams when we are missing something important. For example, very soon two of your best friends will cease being your friend, making you feel immensely betrayed and hurt. The wolf tries to show you that this separation is necessary as it will enable you to grow and be the highest and best version of yourself. But you are stubborn, and you won't listen to the wolf's wisdom, so you'll sit in your pain, judging and blaming others for this split, far longer than is warranted. This is a big life lesson (and one I'm still learning!) – some people will be in our lives forever, and others will be there for shorter periods. And, more importantly, painful life episodes generally lead to immense soul growth. Try to remember this bit of wisdom whenever life feels especially harsh and unfair.
Your other superpower is your ability to connect with nature. Do you remember hearing the distinct voices of the plants and animals in the Enchanted Forrest when you were very young? You assumed everyone could sense these voices, but when you learned otherwise, you began to question your abilities, and subsequently, their voices began to fade. It would help if you worked to re-open this channel, because one of your roles in this lifetime is to be a voice for nature. And one more thing about that wolf. As an adult, you will have the opportunity to use your voice to advocate for wolves. Embrace this opportunity, and it will magically transform your life.
Lastly, I want to remind you of an event that happened when you were seven. One night you went to your room and wrote a book about a runaway bunny for Mom and Dad. You were so proud of your achievement, but when you handed it to Dad and told him you were going to be a writer when you grew up, he replied, “The drawings are awful, and the story's not much better. Besides, writers don't make enough money to support themselves. You’ll have to pick another career.” Well, Dad was wrong (and not for the first time!). In this lifetime, your path is to be a voice for nature and a storyteller (or anything at all that you put your mind to). So, open your mind to the wolf’s wisdom, believe in your knowing, remember your superpowers, and I guarantee you’ll lead a very magical, meaningful and extraordinary life!
About The Author: Martha Hunt Handler grew up in northern Illinois dreaming about wolves and has always understood that her role in this lifetime is to tell stories and be a voice for nature. She has been an environmental consultant, a magazine columnist, an actress, and a polar explorer, among other occupations. Soon after she and her family relocated from Los Angeles to South Salem, New York, she began to hear wolves in her backyard. This was the start of her twenty-plus-year career as an advocate for wolves at the Wolf Conservation Center, where she currently serves as Board President. She is the author of Winter Of The Wolf, out now.