I am not sure where to start with such ideas and wisdom, but I am certain that, if I were to have the ability to read a message from my older self, it would go something much like this.
Dear Younger Self:
You may not know this now, but your older self wants to inform you: All of your current experiences are building you into the human being you were meant to be. Now, I know that sounds like a bunch of crap, but the older you believes this to be true – so, basically, you’ll believe it someday, too.
Here’s what I have found to be some great life lessons which hold an immense amount of value to you.
Be compassionate. Although I think we did a good job of this, when I was younger, always remember that we are all humans, have feelings, and have a story that others may know nothing about. Keep being kind. Keep giving. Keep helping. If you see someone in need, do what you can to help, without giving away all of your energies. You cannot pour from an empty cup, but that does not stop you from sharing your time, experiences, and assistance with others. Others are thankful, even when they cannot find the words to tell you so.
Love fiercely. You’re in for it, girl. Love is a tough one. As you know, it’s super easy to love your family; they ROCK! But others, not so much. And I don’t mean everyone. Remember that not everyone will love like you do; not everyone will give you back the love you give them; not everyone will understand the way you demonstrate your love. Please don’t let this stop you. Keep giving your love. Your heart will, inevitably, get broken… more than once… or twice… or… okay, you get it. Your heart did not get broken because you did not protect it. It was broken because you gave the love you had to someone who was unable to love you in the way you deserved to be loved at the time. That’s okay. You will heal. Take your love experiences as learning and practice for the big show. One day you’re going to find the kind of love that is right for you. When that happens, you’ll get it. Cynically, I want you to understand that this one will probably be the biggest heartbreak of your life. Devastating, really. Don’t stop. You’ll love again. It will seem different because you may not think you can possibly do that again. I promise you can. Trust that your heart was meant to go through all of this because you are growing and learning. These changes will lead you to where you’re meant to be. Just.Keep.Loving. Love you. Love others. Love the person who just walked past my window as I’m writing this. Give love. Show love. You will be a better person because of it. Remember, no one was ever hurt because they loved; they were hurt because of circumstances that abruptly put a stop to that feeling.
Communicate fully. Okay, girl, this is a big one. Stop holding in your feelings and being passive aggressive when it suits you. I am positive that there were times when we were younger when we did this. I shouldn’t have to tell you this, but here I am. Be direct. Say what you mean without being mean when you say it. Don’t hold it in. Don’t fight off your feelings and thoughts. Share them. Figure out a way to let others know what is going on with you. Stop hiding or using your wit as a way to disguise what you really want to say. I know, I know, we’re incredibly sarcastic. I don’t hate us for it. Sarcasm can be great, but if we really want to get something out there, this isn’t the way. This is how you get your needs met. If you’re not comfortable with something – speak up! Lead with “When _______ happens, I feel ______, because ______.” Then, make a request. Ask for a change. Be clear. Give a description of what you need/want. This will do nothing but help you. I promise.
Be honest. Please refer back to the previous tip on how to communicate honesty. But as far as why to be honest: because you want the same back from others. If you don’t already know this, you’re going to have a hard time with trusting people. We don’t need to go into details, but, unfortunately, not everyone does all of what I listed above. And, without those things, including honesty, you’re going to lose hope in having trust in others. Rest assured, as an adult, you’re going to still want to trust others before they show you that you shouldn’t, but actually trusting them… that’s not super easy for you. You cannot expect that you will get back what you are not putting out into this world. You are honest now – please.keep.doing.it. This is a part of who you are, and I promise that your integrity and willingness to do the right thing will be two of your most valued qualities by others. I have seen this again and again with us, but remember, mean what you say without being mean when you say it. There is always a tactful way to share your honesty.
Don’t have expectations for others. This one is tough, because, somehow, older you keeeeeeps doing this. You’ll read tons of books from others. Your family, friends, and therapist will tell you this. You will know this, but somehow, you’re still going to believe that others will be good to you because you are good to them. Here’s the thing: this is, for the most part, true. I have one small revision: Others will be good to you, if you are good to them, only if they find value in being good to you. If they have been hurt; if they don’t trust; if they don’t believe, then they may not follow suit. This is a hard one, but please don’t stop being the good person you are because of it. Put your good out there, just don’t expect it back – at least not from everyone. Show gratitude. Be thankful. Tell others that you appreciate them and what they are doing, while they’re doing it. There is nothing better than the experience of being appreciated. So, lead by example: appreciate others. Eventually, your appreciation will spread, and it’ll come back to you; just don’t put a timeline or expectation on when. Your expectations you have for others will do nothing other than hurt and disappoint you, if they do not meet them. And, lets be honest, they may not be capable of reaching those expectations when you set them. Accept who people are, where they are, and how they got there. Meet people where they are and stop expecting them to have this knowledge, because, let’s face it, they don’t have their older selves writing to them, silly.
Finally, every choice you make ends up being the right one. This is not easy to comprehend, in the moment, but it’s true. Every pain, happiness, joy, and heartache. Every “I should have known better” and “I can’t believe that worked out” that you experience – have been the right choices for you. Your choices make you into the person you are today (or should I say who “I” am today?). Even if they are difficult choices that cause you sadness and hurt, you can take something from every experience you have and use this as guidance, in the future. Trust that you are making the right decisions (this is hard for you, since you second guess so much). You’re smart, helpful, kind, and compassionate. Your intelligence, supports, and confidence are going to help you make the decisions that have brought me here to you, today. You will be successful. You will prosper. You will find joy. Be who you are, who we were meant to be.
The Older You
Perhaps your younger self may want to hear from you. What would you say?
This passage is meant to spark thought about who we once were and who are grow and change to be. Although these are someone else’s life lessons, yours may vary. Take this information, and use it, if you wish and think it may be helpful!