It’s a bit cliché, but I really don’t have any regrets. My mistakes, my successes, all of my choices (good or bad), have taken me to the place I am now.
But there is an amazing sense of becoming grounded in the here and now that comes from reflecting on your personal life lessons. Ask yourself, “What would I tell the younger me if given the chance?”
I recently took the time to do this exercise and to say it was cathartic is an understatement. What would happen if you did the same? What would happen if your children took the time to reflect as well? What about your spouse or significant other? Would perspectives change? Would happiness emerge? Would potentially self-sabotaging behaviors stop? Would you approach your day job differently? Would your children decide earlier in life to embrace their purpose sooner? What break through would occur by sharing your lessons with those around you?
What I would tell the younger me
Stop tying to be perfect.
“Perfection is a myth and quite frankly little girl…being perfect is boring.” I was, and still am, a very goal orientated and focused individual. As a young girl, and into my early 20’s I worried about being perfect. It was my goal. Perfect grades, perfect hair, perfect clothes, perfect friends, perfect boyfriend, perfect weight, and perfect makeup…exhausting! I decided to break my own rules after this exercise and throw ‘perfect’ out the window.
Trust in your dreams for in them you will find what is real.
Reality is not the day to day. It is not the ever-ending grocery list. It is not fretting about the layer of dust on the nightstand. It is not the balance of the checkbook. It is not dreading Mondays or celebrating Fridays. Look beyond what you see. Reality is the dream of everlasting and unconditional love. The love of a parent, a child, a special person and the love of yourself; this is real. Dreams of celebrating life by using your talents to improve the lives of others, that is real. Dreams of lifting up others, that is real.
True sight comes from seeing in the dark.
Don’t hide in the dark crying, come out of the bathroom and get a hug. Don’t pretend to be tough, cool, or unaffected. Know that you are not alone in your struggles, your mistakes, and your misadventures. They are part of you and your journey. We want to know you, the real you. You are a gift, all the parts of you.
Your voice is important.
Once found, it is a unique note to be shared. The tenor and cadence of your voice, no one else has or ever will have that. The world would not be such a magical and beautiful place without that uniqueness. Please share it with us and unite your voice with others, creating a symphony that we all can be moved by.
Seek to understand so that you may help others see. The understanding is not as important as the seeking, the journey, the questioning. We can never really fully understand others, not fully. But, we can seek to understand. It is the seeking that allows us to remain open to the gifts of others.
Uncover gifts in others.
Wake up everyday, committed to uncovering gifts in others. Some are easy to find and uncover but the best gifts, are deep down, in the soul of a person. THESE are made of pure joy and glory. These are the gifts that revolutionize. These are the gifts that will impact you the most.
Others do not define success; you define it.
Society, the boardroom, the runway, even well meaning friends and family, do not define success. Only you can do that. Realize that and set yourself free from comparing yourself to others. Realize that and you are already successful.
Seek to become aware of something not previously known.
Each day, uncover something new. The color of a friends eyes or a new word; explore a new park or a new neighborhood; taste a new food and meet a new person.
Break the Rules.
Find ways to take off self-imposed limits. It could be as simple as remembering to be a child and blow bubbles in your milk or as rebellious as not writing out the grocery list and just ‘going for it’. It could be allowing someone to hug you or remembering to hug them.
Truth be told, I am not sure the younger me would have understood the current me. The younger me might have shrugged off some of the advice or all of it and went shopping. But…the current me can look back and learn. The current me owns the context of life written thus far. The current me can strive to grow more, learn more, and impact others in a positive way.
The current me can impact her future…and THAT is what this is all about.
How will the current you impact the future you?