I’m in my early 50s. I’ve been around the merry-go-round a few times now. But have I learned anything that would’ve been useful to know when I was, say, 23?
If I had the chance, and I could sit down for coffee and a chat with my 23 year old self, what would I tell her? Would I have anything to say that could save her some time, heartache, or money?
What would I tell her?
First, I’d tell her that the most important thing she has to figure out is what she values. Life is waiting to give her more of everything that she shows and demonstrates is important to her, but Life can’t do that if she doesn’t even know clearly what those things are.
What does she value in her own character? And therefore in the characters of others too…
What does she like and appreciate about the way that she treats people – and therefore about the way that other people treat her – and what is not acceptable to her? Because the most powerful law of attraction is that we attract who we ARE.
What makes her heart open up and sing with joy?
What does she love to do that makes her feel fulfilled?
What does she find fun, rewarding, interesting?
How does it feel to be generous, as opposed to hoarding and being too scared to share?
How does it feel to look after her body, as opposed to when she pushes it too hard or demands too much from it?
How does it feel to form deep connections, and express loving kindness?
How does she feel when she gives in and conforms to what other people expect of her, even when it’s not what she wants for herself?
How does it feel to stand up for herself (and others) when she sees things going on that don’t align with her values?
Secondly, I’d tell her that once she knows with clarity and resolve who she wants to be, what she truly values in life, and what kind of life she wants to live… then it’s up to her to protect that vision. To have proper boundaries.
Not the barbed wire kind… more like the kind you might have in a garden. Yes, the garden of her life. The kind of boundaries that allow her to cultivate what she truly wants to express in her life. The kind that protect her creative seedlings from the cold, from the wind, and from little critters that might eat away at her dreams.
I’d tell her that in order to tend to the garden of her life, and not let the weeds choke out the beauty that she’d like to cultivate and grow, she may have to take some steps. To stay clear, to stay focused.
I’d tell her that growing a beautiful life takes intention and dedication. I’m not talking about long hours and the kind of ‘hard work’ that most of us are conditioned into – where we think that if we’re ‘busy’ then we’re making progress. No. I’m talking about having a true clarity of vision about the kind of life she wants to grow, the courage to protect it, and the resolve to make sure that those weeds never get a foothold in the first place. Because if she lets the weeds get a foothold, then she’ll be constantly ‘busy’ dealing with them… but her true progress towards the life she really values and desires will be slowed.
Clarity of vision. Boundaries. Cultivation. Weeding out what shouldn’t be there. Fertilising the soil. Providing the right conditions for growth. These are the things we find in the best gardens of life. Pay attention to Mother Nature… the lessons are all there, right in front of us.
That’s what I would tell my 23 year old self.
What would you tell your younger self?
As always, let me know your thoughts in the comments and whether this post has helped you in any way.
To YOUR Abundance,
Julie Ann Cairns