So what would you tell your younger self?
I often find myself wishing I could tell my younger self some things about how life really works, about what’s real and true, and thereby dissolve some of the harmful preconceptions and assumptions I had way back then. That is a frustrating impossibility, but it’s worth thinking about.
Here are the 15 things I wish I could tell my younger self:
1.Life is good. Not always, but mostly. And when it is not so good, be assured it will get better.
2.It’s a good thing that we don’t know everything that’s going to happen to us. If I had known all the pains and heartaches I would encounter in life, even amidst the joys and victories, it would surely have been too much to bear.
3.If you tend to be shy, try your best to overcome it. Take it a step at a time, but work at it. It is a gift to get to know new people, especially those who are different from you in some way, culturally, ethnically, religiously. Pushing yourself out of your comfort zone may be painful for a time, but the benefits are everlasting.
4. It may not be easy to stand up and speak out for what’s important to you, but you will be amazed how empowering, and important, it can be.
5. Accept yourself as God made you.
6. You are not the only person in the world who feels this way, whatever “this way” is that you’re feeling.
7.You are terrific just as you are. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t work on your rough edges and areas of ignorance and inexperience.
8. You are on a journey, which means things will change. Even important things will change, sometimes shockingly. But it is a nevertheless a good journey, and it’s worth every step.
9. There is no one person in the whole world who is the one-and-only person God has selected for you to be with forever. So don’t waste time thinking you have to search for that one ideal person. Open yourself up, be patient, and it will all work out.
10. When you do connect deeply with one person, be serious about it. Work at it. Be open and honest with your significant other. It is a rare and wondrous thing to be in relationship, so make every effort to preserve and improve and deepen it.
11. But sometimes, for any number of reasons, it is time to move on, for your sake or theirs, or both. Recognize this.
12. Your parents truly love you and want the best for you. Listen to them. Trust them. Love them. Honor them. But realize you will soon be on your own, and that’s a good thing.
13.Stop watching so much TV. Read more. (Although, young me, you did read an awful lot, so maybe you should get outside and play more.)
14. Work hard and carefully try to figure out a career you will love. This will involve trying different things, new things. I’ve had four primary and very different jobs in my life, and have enjoyed each one (pretty much). Each one moved me forward into what was next.
15.Children are a blessing and a joy. Just keep in mind that they will break your heart and scare you to death more times than you could ever imagine.
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