Lately, I’ve been in a bit of a creative slump. I’d write a draft, trash it, re-write it, delete it, and so on. Recently I was asked the question if I could write a letter to myself, what would I say? That really got me thinking. There’s so much that I know now, that I WISH I knew back then! So, if I could channel my inner Brad Paisley and write a letter to my younger self, here’s exactly what I would say…..
- You have EVERYTHING you need in this moment, right here and now.
You have all of the strength, bravery, and courage that you need to face the curveballs that life is throwing you. Tap into it. Don’t rely on others to be your strength, trust in yourself and know that only YOU have the power to control how you react to situations.
- Don’t get caught up in the drama of high school – it WILL pass.
I know it seems like high school is a never-ending point in your life. But, it is. You are going to graduate and move on to much bigger and better things in college. I know it’s hard to see right now, but you have so much to look forward to, and you will be meeting so many different and wonderful people. Even though you will be provoked, let the drama go and don’t engage in it! Guess what? You’ll look back in a few years and LAUGH instead of cry.
- Never let the bullies take ANY of your self-esteem!
This is such an important one. Have confidence in yourself. You are absolutely perfect just the way you are. Never let anyone tell you who YOU are. Only YOU can do that. Walk with your head held high, secure in the knowledge that you are likable, lovable, and brave. Never sacrifice your self-worth because someone has a problem with it. You will encounter several bullies as you grow, and you must develop the confidence in yourself to stand tall and keep on smiling! Just be you and the people who love you, and are really meant to be in your life, will stay & accept you for who you are.
- Grow your Faith.
I know it might not seem “cool” to you, but forget about that. Let people believe what they want to believe. Learn to develop a personal relationship with God. He will get you through everything and anything life throws your way! Don’t be ashamed, don’t hide from it. Be proud. Remember – what other people’s opinion of you is NOT your problem.
- Listen to your parents!
I know you think you know everything. I know you’re very stubborn and strong-willed. That’s okay, but don’t be so hard-headed! If there are only two people who you listen to in this world – let them be your parents. They will never steer you wrong. They will always support you, guide you, and love you. All they want is to see you happy. Trust them, believe them, lean on them, and most importantly, love them.
- Never take any of your family for granted.
Friends will blow in and out of your life like the wind. Some stay for only a season & then move on. But, family is family. Blood is blood. Your family will be there for you in good times & in bad times. Sure, you will have disagreements, and they will stress you out from time to time. But, when the chips are down, they will be standing right beside you cheering you on. Hold each one of your family members close to your heart. Treasure the moments you have with all of them, soak up every chance you have to spend with them & never put anyone else before them. It’s a hard lesson to learn, but you will see that unfortunately, they won’t be around forever.
- Don’t let your stress and anxiety rule your life.
I know this is so hard to do. I know you struggle. But, trust me when I tell you that your worries, your anxiety, your panic attacks, they will subside. Don’t be afraid of them. Power through them, work through them. Don’t let them stop you from living your best life. Know that it is absolutely OKAY for you to ask for help and support. You’re not weird, you’re not a freak, you simply have a medical condition that is very real. Take care of yourself first. Don’t ignore your own well-being. Do what you feel is best for you, and never let anyone pressure you.
- Be vulnerable, & be careful.
Guard your heart; for everything you do flows from it ~ Proverbs 4:23. As you continue to go and grow through life, you will see that there are people who you can be open, honest & sensitive with. Pick and choose these people carefully. Don’t let yourself be a pushover. If someone knowingly hurts you after they know about you, let them go with grace. Don’t always wear your heart on your sleeve. Sometimes, a little mystery is good.
- Nobody’s perfect, so stop the expectations & learn how to let go.
On your journey you will meet people who you never thought you’d be friends with. They’re unlike anyone you have met before and are God sent. However; realize and accept that occasionally, these people who you’ve grown to love & admire, will hurt you, teach you, and then, sometimes, leave you. That doesn’t mean they’re bad; that doesn’t mean they hate you; that doesn’t mean they’re like the bullies in high school. Respect that everyone has feelings – just like you do – and you can’t have expectations of anyone. Just learn to live and love in peace.
- Trust yourself. You know more than you think.
Stop second guessing and over thinking everything. That is one of your bad habits. Quit doing that. It makes you exhausted, it’s exhausting for others, and there’s no need to be an over analyzer. Trust in who you are. Trust in other people. Don’t let these bullies make you hard. You really do know who you are. You might think you don’t, but you do. You were raised with strong values and beliefs. Let yourself trust in them.
- Learn to love yourself NOW. Just as you are.
Start practicing self-love. Learn to appreciate every little thing about you. Things that you think are flaws, are actually your greatest strengths. You have everything you need to succeed. So, stop the self-depreciation. You’re beautiful the way you are, and if others can’t see that, the problem is not yours.
Know that you will make mistakes, but know that it’s okay. You’re human. You’re not supposed to get it right all of the time. You learn from your mistakes. That’s how you grow. Don’t condemn yourself for it and don’t dwell on the could have’s, should have’s, and would have’s. Instead, breathe, relax, and let go. Live your life without apologies, without regrets. Take chances – a lot of them. Follow your passion, your dreams, your heart. They’re absolutely beautiful and don’t let anyone discourage you. You have a hidden talent, a hidden passion, & a big dream that you haven’t realized yet. But, when you do, you will be so excited. Chase that dream. Protect it. Most of all…..Believe in yourself. You will be just fine.