Inspired by the first and latest profile picture fad on Facebook, I decided to pull mine and I felt drawn to tell younger me a few things. Maybe these things would be helpful to you. I hope I have learned something along the way!
Dear Younger Me,
Realize that this journey is just that- a journey. It is not a race to be won. There is not a destination to arrive at called happiness. If you are not careful you will spend all of your todays looking forward to your tomorrows, only to find that the moment you were in was the prize. There will be times when you waste your today looking back at yesterday, sometimes in longing for things long past and sometimes in regret for the choices that you have made. The moment you are in is so much more important than that. Be present.
Cut yourself as much slack as you bestow to others. Self-criticism dished out in heaping spoonfuls does not motivate you to change. Comparison to others or some ideal only leaves you wanting to be more. Acceptance of yourself always seems just a little beyond your grasp. When I look into your younger eyes I see that urge to be more… I know the road you will travel, and I want to tell you that you are already enough.
Embrace the chances you have to really get to know others. Enjoy that others trust you with their secrets knowing you are trustworthy. Also, continue to pull back when you have had enough to rejuvenate with just you and God. Older you tends to forget how important that really is.
I know you can’t imagine it but it won’t be long until your children will be grown and doing their own thing. If there is anything older you wishes for, it would be a few more minutes to hold a small hand, play a game, or to teach a valuable life skill. Again, treasure the moment.
Know that you are loved, not just in a casual way, but in a way that really matters. As you learn to love your children through hard times when they need your unconditional love and forgiveness, you glimpse a tiny portion of just how completely you are loved by your heavenly father. Imagine him delighting over you with a song of your praise, not with a pen and tally sheet recording your deeds. Know that nothing you could ever do could separate you from the love of God.
These thirteen years should have caused wrinkles galore with all of the hardships they brought. And yes, I have earned a few that show clearly, but overall I think that I was shielded by grace from much that my troubles could have caused. I also believe that my genetic makeup has helped. Maybe a little of my mom’s Oil of Olay mentality rubbed a few of them away, and Lord knows hair dye is a must! I can’t help but wonder what the next ten years will look like but I think I will take my own advice and try to be present in the moment. I will try and show myself more grace. I will value my friendships and take time for myself. Mostly, I will rest in knowing that I am completely loved!
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