Some time ago, a friend asked me to join her and other women in creating a book of wisdom for her niece who was turning 13.
I wondered, if I could go back to meet my 13-year-old self, what would I want to tell her about life, love, living? From the vantage point of my life today, what wisdom would I most want to share to inform her journey?
If I knew then what I know now — Ten Things I would tell my 13-year-old self
- This too shall pass.
- There is no such place as forever. Nothing is forever. This too shall pass. Whatever you are experiencing, the trauma, the angst, the joy, they are all illusory. Transitory. Ride whatever is happening hands free, barefooted, body wide open to the experiences of life. Now is not forever.
- You’re okay.
- More than okay, you are amazing. Just the way you are. There is no fashion too out there, no style too wild if it is what you want to wear. You are not too fat, too skinny, to short, too tall, too under-developed, over-developed. You are who you are, how you are. And that’s amazing.
- You are worthy.
- This is a tricky one. Your mind wants to steal this one away and hide it because to know your worth, you must risk — the unknown. the perceived impossible. You must risk the ups and downs, ins and outs, overs and unders of life. To know your worth, you must know there is nothing, no one, no way anyone can steal it from you. It is your birthright.
- Believe in you.
- Really, really believe in you. Don’t question your right to be. Don’t question you’re right to go anywhere, do anything, be anyway you choose. Be you. Everyone else is taken. Wear your hair up, down, wild, straight. Colour it pink, gold, orange or green. It’s your hair. Your body. Your skin. Your life. Your right to believe in you and be you just the way you are.
- Be kind.
- People will say mean things. Do cruel things. Be kind. Like you, they struggle to know their worth, find their place, feel their feelings. Like you, they are taking this journey of life without a manual, unable to control and predict everything life will throw at them. Like you, they are sometimes scared, sometimes silly, sometimes confused, sometimes wise. And like you, they too are looking to fit in, to belong, to be part of something bigger than themselves. Be kind, no matter how they act. Be kind.
- You don’t have to find your meaning. You are your meaning.
- Live it with your whole heart wide open to life. Your meaning is not in wearing the latest fashion or having the coolest stuff. Your meaning is found in how you approach every moment, engage every person from that place where you know, no matter what you think they think about you, you think and know you are amazing, just the way you are.
- Seek magnificence.
- Don’t go looking for mediocrity. Seek to be known through your magnificence and seek always to know others through theirs. Don’t look for fault, seek the lessons, seek the knowing, seek the value in all things.
- Risk often.
- Life isn’t a predictable series of events over which you have ultimate control. The only person you have control over is yourself – and even then you’ll sometimes doubt just how in control of yourself you are. Risk anyway because, if you’re involved with others, there will be lots of messy, sticky, unexpected and sometimes painful things happening on your journey. They’re just things. It’s all just stuff. You are amazing – I know, I said it already – it’s true. Believe it. Risk living from the place of knowing you are okay, you are amazing, you are magnificent. Risk living as if it’s true — because it is.
- Smile often. Cry deep. Laugh lots. Dance always.
- Smile. It makes a world of difference. And when you cry, cry out loud. When you laugh, laugh out loud. And when you see injustice, ask what can I do to change it, and do that thing with your whole heart and know, that is enough. You are enough. You don’t have to have all the answers, you only need to learn the ones that will allow you to make the difference in the world you want to see and be. And that’s enough. And because you are enough, dance whenever you can. Dance when someone’s watching. Dance when no one’s there. Always remember to dance.
- Get creative.
- Get creative with how you express yourself. Let creativity guide you into finding your own answers. Don’t go looking inside boxes for the recipe for life. Live it not knowing what’s next. Live it expecting the unexpected. Live it free of holding onto hurts and pains, sorrows and regrets. Live it up. Fill it with joy. and always, always SHINE! Because you are amazing. You are worthy. You are magnificent. And that’s all the truth you need to live your life fearlessly in Love with all of you.
This posted originally appeared in 2014.
Some things need repeating.
What advice would you give your 13 year-old self?