10 Things I’d Like To Tell My Younger Self
Yea, yea, there’s something to be said for experiencing life on your own and learning from ALL those mistakes along the way. I know I’ve said it hundreds of times, “I’ve learned something from all my mistakes and they have made me who I am today”. But still, there’s a part of me that would love to have a conversation with my younger self that might send her off in a different trajectory. And, it’s not all about the mistakes I’ve made; no, it’s mostly about having confidence, trusting in myself and living a spiritual life that I wish I had started practicing in a much earlier part of my life. These are the things I’d like to tell my younger self.
Now that I’m 50-something, I feel like I see things so much more clearly than I did when I was 20 or even 30. There’s much to be said for being a 50 year old woman. With age comes wisdom, and so, we’ve all been told. Just in case, some day, we have the know how to travel back in time, I’ve narrowed it down to 10 things I’d like to tell my younger self…maybe start her off knowing she is loved. And, who knows, maybe some sweet 20 year old girl will read this and it will change her path just enough to get her to 50 a little less broken.
#1 You’re Smarter Than You Think
When I was a young girl/woman, I lacked confidence, big time. I was afraid to voice my opinion in a group or in a classroom setting for fear I’d be laughed at for being stupid. Looking back, I realize that most girls probably felt that way, with the exception of the brainiac in the room. I’d like to tell my younger self to trust the knowledge you have and speak up. Let go of your ego self and be immune to the criticism of others. That criticism comes from their own insecurities. Let go of the ego and never live in fear.
“The Ego is not who you really are.
The ego is your self-image; it is your social mask; it is the role you are playing.
Your social mask thrives on approval.
It wants control, and it is sustained by power, because it lives in fear.”
#2 Trust Your Intuition
How many times can you recall having ignored your gut feeling and gone ahead and done something you ended up regretting? Too many to count? Me too. That “gut feeling” is a phenomenon known as intuition. I’d love to tell my younger version to pay closer attention to that inner voice; her gift of intuition, even when it goes against all logic and reason. Nine times out of ten, that intuition will be right on the money. Spiritually, this is known as the sixth chakra, or third eye. The sixth chakra is known as Ajna and means “beyond wisdom”. Ajna will lead you to an inner knowledge and guide you if you let it. The sixth chakra can be opened through meditation. Try sitting in “child’s pose” with the forehead resting on the floor. Repeat the sound “aum” while in child’s pose for about 2 minutes each day.
#3 You Are Beautiful
Many times our mother’s own insecurities are transferred inadvertently to us at a very young age, or even from birth. For example, if your mother suffered from a low self esteem, never realizing her own inner and outer beauty, that can naturally transfer to you. I know my mother never knew how beautiful she was; she was never told or made to feel that way. Of course, I inherited that special gift just as she received it from her mother, and as many of you probably did, as well. I have witnessed my mother going through a lifetime of feeling inadequate and ugly inside and out. Of course, that has “rubbed off” on me. Having said that, I’d love to be able to just hug my little girl self and tell her how special and beautiful she is, inside and out, and to feel no shame for that. When I look back at old photos of myself at at 20 or 30, I think, “wow! I was really beautiful and never knew it”. I feel I suffered a little because of that.
#4 You Are Worthy Of Love
This is something women of all ages should acknowledge. All of us have the innate need to love and be loved. When we are born, we enter the world with a pure expectation of unconditional love. Unfortunately, not all of us experience this. Early in life we learn that love can be withheld from us by the people we trust most. Remember, in our inner most being or spirit, we are all completely lovable because spirit IS love. So, I’d like to say to myself as a child and again, as a young woman, “you are more than worthy of love, sweet girl!”
#5 You Can’t Change Other People
Dear younger me, the sooner you realize you can’t change other people, the better your life will become! Try as you may, it just doesn’t work that way. You either accept people as they are, or let them go. That’s that.
“Learn to accept people for who they are.
Learn to reject them for that same reason.”
#6 Don’t Settle
Never settle for anything less than the very best! Whether we’re talking about a job, a car, clothes, or a relationship, settling only leads to more settling. Before you know it, you are completely unhappy and left feeling unfulfilled because you’ve never gotten what you really want or desire. I’m not saying I wish I were a spoiled little girl and had gotten everything I asked for. No, I’m saying you shouldn’t give up on your desires or let anyone make you feel that you are not deserving of what you truly want.
#7 Respect Yourself
Treat everyone with respect and love…including yourself. To be able to be loved, you must love and respect yourself and others as well. Understanding the process of loving yourself will strengthen your ability to attain happily, the healthy love of self and others.
#8 Ask For Help
I was raised to be completely independent. It was a sign of weakness to ask for help. However, the opposite is true; asking for help should never be thought of as a sign of weakness. In fact, recognizing you need help, and seeking that help, only builds resilience and strengthens your character. Some day, child, you will really need help…have the strength to recognize that. If you don’t ask for it, you will not receive it.
#9 Live A Spiritual Life
This is something that I blocked from most of my life. Up until these last few years, I rejected any form of spiritual living. When I was a teen, I remember feeling very disappointed in our church and some of the people I held in high regard. The mistake, here, was putting my spiritual beliefs in Earthly beings and things. True spirituality resides within each of us, on an unearthly level. Spirituality is the experience of awareness outside the boundaries of your skin. According to the teachings of Deepak Chopra, we need to understand that spirituality is not some kind of religious dogma or ideology but is the domain of awareness where we experience values like truth, goodness, beauty, love and compassion, and also intuition, creativity, insight and focused attention. Knowing and understanding this, my younger self, will take you places beyond imagination.
#10 Practice Non-judgement
When we realize that everything we experience in life is full of contrasts, we lose the need to control and judge. These contrasts are an essential part of life and what makes the world an interesting place to live. When you pass judgement on another person, you are making that person wrong and causes an instant separation. Judgments are so debilitating because they cause turbulence in our minds and cause heaviness of the heart. So, my child, say each day, “today, I will practice non-judgement” and you will find peace within your heart.
What You Should Tell Your Present Self
“Forget what hurt you in the past, but never forget what it taught you. However, if it taught you to hold onto grudges, seek revenge, not forgive or show compassion, to categorize people as good or bad, to distrust and be guarded with your feelings then you didn’t learn a thing. God doesn’t bring you lessons to close your heart. He brings you lessons to open it, by developing compassion, learning to listen, seeking to understand instead of speculating, practicing empathy and developing conflict resolution through communication. If he brought you perfect people, how would you ever learn to spiritually evolve?”
~ Shannon L. Alder
In the off chance that we’re never able to travel back in time and space to offer any of our acquired wisdom to our younger version, know that it is never to late to remind your present self of the things you have discovered along life’s journey. Make your own list of 10 things you’d like to tell your younger self. You might be surprised by what you discover. Feel free to share with us, in the comment section below, anything you might want to tell your younger self…and what you’ve discovered about your present self. 🙂
Suggested reading from my good friend, Danielle: