Dear Younger Self, On Our Birthday

Saw a picture of you today – us, just approaching sixteen – and instantly recognized the awkwardness with which you carry yourself: the painful self-consciousness, never knowing quite where you fit in or even if you are good enough to be in the picture.  IMG_1836Since today is our birthday, I decided to dedicate this post to you.

Follow your passion: pursue the things that lift you up, and trust that what you learn, what you do, will be worthwhile – so share it with the world.

Go for your dreams:  apply for those jobs that you think are beyond your reach, take risks – let the world reject you; don’t reject yourself.  There is no shame or blame in trying.

All life is struggle:  the importance is staying in the game and not backing down.  Trust that you have the inner strength and resources, and have faith that life will bring you what you need. Besides, life is equally full of surprises and you don’t want to miss out on those. th

Discard the concept of perfection:  choose instead to embrace vulnerability and imperfection as possibility.

Celebrate wins:  you will excel, even surprising yourself at times, make sure you celebrate it.

Never give up on you:  there will be times where you feel like such a failure and that all is lost, just know that these are but passing moments in the greater picture.  Life goes on, and so will you – as long as you are alive there is a purpose and place for you – trust it.

Say ‘yes’ to opportunity:  action is always preferable to inaction.  Easier to change your mind once you’ve accepted an opportunity than it is to chase it once it has moved on.

Let go of responsibility::  be accountable, strive to be self-aware, and know that there is so much more at work than you could ever carry on your own, so don’t even try.

Help others:  I have found this to be the best cure for depression (yes, it will follow us).  There is always someone for whom you can make a difference, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant. th-1

Extend kindness to all:  doesn’t matter who they are, nor what they might have done to you – even your greatest nemesis – extend kindness.  Trust me on this – you never know what life might bring back to you, but you will always be glad you did.

Marvel at the wonder of life:  miracles happen every day, and they will happen to you – bask in the glory of life’s radiance.

You matter:  that which gives us life does not judge us – know that you are precious, accepted, and lovable.

Receive goodness:  life is about balance – giving and receiving.  You will feel tempted to give, give, give; but will never feel the joy until you learn how to receive as well.

Learn to live in the moment:  each moment of life offers a multitude of blessings.  When you find yourself spinning from anxiety or worry, remember to breath, ground yourself in the moment and find the blessing. th-2

Today, I turn fifty-eight; you will not be sixteen for another two months.  I know that the past couple of years have been hard, and that thoughts of suicide circle in and out, and I am grateful that you will not take that route.   Dear Younger Self, Teen Self, if only I could reach through the  time continuum, I would lend my eyes so that you might see the wholeness of your beauty, and maybe, for an instance, know that you are more than enough.

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Permission to write, paint, and imagine are the gifts I gave myself when chronic illness hit - a fair exchange: being for doing. Relevance is an attitude. Humour essential.

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