On In InnerVoice

An Open Letter To Jennifer Aniston For Being The Best Version Of Herself

Dear Jennifer, First of all, a very happy birthday! Also, I would not be able to live peacefully if I (like the thousands before me) didn't tell you that you look B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L!You are the same age as my mom but don't look a day older than my sister (who is 21 by the way). I don't know if you stop and realize but I have to tell you that you have touched the lives of many (mine included) in more than hundred ways. Your clear and fearless opinions in interviews drew me in awe of your confidence, the way you conducted yourself after your split from Pitt made me inspired by your strength and needless to say, Rachel taught me how to dress well and handle life.  I am incredibly fascinated by the life you live; right from your exercise and playing with dogs in the morning, to displaying commendable acting skills at work, to making time for charity and humanitarian work from your extremely tight schedule.You are an inspiration Jennifer Aniston and I cannot thank you enough for being who you are. Your words have healing power and in this letter, I would mention some that hit straight at the core of my heart.

On Making Your Own Decisions:

"We are complete with or without a mate, with or without a child. We get to decide for ourselves what is beautiful when it comes to our bodies. That decision is ours and ours alone,"

On Self-Doubt:

"We're all human beings at the end of the day, whether we're a waitress or a baker or a student or whatever we are, at the end of the day you kind of can hit walls and think I can't go any farther. Or this is too much. My heart can't take it or the pain is too great, or am I good enough? Will I survive?And you just have to sort of somehow miraculously overcome. You just go, ‘I can't, yes I can, yes you can.'"

On Cultural Standards:

"Sometimes cultural standards just need a different perspective so we can see them for what they really are—a collective acceptance... a subconscious agreement, we are in charge of our agreement. Little girls everywhere are absorbing our agreement, passive or otherwise. And it begins early."

On Self-Discovery:

"Go to therapy. Clean up all of the shit, clean up all of the toxins and the noise. Understand who you are. Educate yourself on the self."

On Happiness:

"You can undo a lot of things. If you're not happy, you can become happy. Happiness is a choice. That's the thing I really feel."

On True Beauty:

"[Beauty is] inner confidence. Peace. Kindness. Honesty. A life well-lived. Taking on challenges and not feeling shame for things that haven't gone the way you felt they should have, and not feeling like a failure or allowing people to critique your life and make you feel like you've failed at something. That's just toxic noise."

On Accepting Yourself:

"When I was younger, I think I took a lot for granted and would beat myself up over things that were unnecessary. Now it's like, whatever state I'm in, whatever shape my body's in [works for me]. I think you just have to really appreciate that this is what's beautiful, this is you!"

On Getting Older:

"Being this side of 40 feels like what I should have felt being this side of 25: in my body, in my heart, happy with my life, and OK with whatever bumps in the road present themselves."

On Self-Reflection:

"I think it's always important to reflect anyway, no matter what age you're approaching or what milestone is in front of you. Reflection should be almost a daily thing if possible. Because I was never a 'where do you see yourself in five years' person. I had no idea, and I didn't have a checklist, which really creates a lot less stress in your life."

On Creating Your Own Story:

"This whole 'poor lonely Jen' thing, this idea that I'm so unlucky in love? I actually feel I've been unbelievably lucky in love, just because at this stage my life doesn't have the traditional framework to it — the husband and the two kids and the house in Connecticut—it's mine. It's my experience. And if you don't like the way it looks, then stop looking at it! Because I feel good. I don't feel like I'm supposed to be any further along or somewhere that I'm not. I'm right where I'm supposed to be."

On the "Fairy-Tale" Myth:

"Whoever said everything has to be forever, that's setting your hopes too high. It's too much pressure. And I think if you put that pressure on yourself — because I did! 'Fairytale! It has to be the right one!' — that's unattainable."

On Controlling Love:

"I never liked Sex and the City, the kind of thing where women only feel empowered once they find The Man. It is just not up my alley, I don't believe in it. There is nothing you can control about love."

On Taking Responsibility in a Relationship:

"Relationships are two people; everyone is accountable, A lot goes into a relationship coming together, and a lot goes into a relationship falling apart. [My therapist would] say, 'Even if it's 98-percent the other person's fault, it's 2 percent yours, and that's what we're going to focus on.' You can only clean up your side of the street."

On Lasting Relationships:

"Most of us fall in love with someone's persona and spend the next three to five years discovering who that person really is. If you can stay connected through that process of raw vulnerability, I think you have a shot at the prize of knowing and accepting another human being for who and what they really are after years of highs and lows."

On Marriage:

"What's fantastic about marriage is getting through those ebbs and flows with the same person and looking across the room and saying, 'I'm still here. And I still love you.' You remeet, reconnect. You have marriages within marriages within marriages. That's what I love about marriage. That's what I want in a marriage."I know that you are not very active on social media, but I hope this letter finds its way to you in some way or the other. Until then, I wish that you do really well, but this certainly isn't farewell.Cheers!Yours truly,Kripa Charan (One of your million well-wishers)