Often times I wonder if the person I am now could go back and offer advice to my younger self? I’ve made mistakes, none that are regrettable–but had I known a lot of what I know now, I am sure that I would have done some things differently. I am grateful for my life experience thus far and wouldn’t trade it for anything. Not too long ago, I actually wrote a letter to my younger self and the following is what I had to say:
As I sit here and reflect on how wonderful life has been over the past few years and look to the future, it is important for me to remain cognizant of the past that has molded me into the person I am today. Looking back at how you’ve grown, I want to offer this letter as a source of encouragement.
I know what you’ve been thinking and feeling, as well as everything you don’t understand just yet. These feelings—feelings of despair, hopelessness, confusion, anxiety and negativity will soon pass. Believe me when I tell you that your future is all too bright. All the sense of worthlessness is not permanent. These tears are with a purpose; simply a lamentation of your innocence being lost. I want you to hold your head high and know that you have people who love you; people who care about you; and people who are going to encourage you through both word and deed to succeed in this world.
I want you to take all the emotions that you have bottled up and do things to lessen the tide of human sorrow, but add to the sum of human happiness. Most of all learn to forgive because at the core of your forgiving others for their transgressions against you, you will ultimately find your happiness. You’re a star that shines brightly in the sky and you will be the epitome of what talent and will can produce in a seamless conjunction with one another. As the good says, “be strong and of good courage.” You have a hope and a future to prosper and will serve as an inspiration to more people than you understand in your current situation. However, I will implore you to watch out for people who lurk deceptively in the grasses. There will be people who attempt to derail your success, but the strength that you’re building up will provide you will the weapons you need to fight these battles.
Lastly, I would implore you to serve and serve boldly. There is no greater man in this world than that of a man who dedicates his life to helping others. You will possess the vision, the moral compass and the ability to bring people together that makes for a great servant. However, listen to others that serve with you and even those who have opposing views because as you make decisions you will learn that it is direly important to be inclusively of all ideas. Go to the places where most people won’t go and help the people that are often left out or marginalized in our society. You have earned the battle scars to be their advocate, to be their friend and to help lift them out of their suffering. Do this and do it with the passion Leonardo painted with, Jordan played basketball with and Jesus loved with.
Remember, you are LOVED! YOU ARE SPECIAL and you will do these things because I declare right now at this hour nothing short of prosperity and good fortune over your life. Stay strong and be well as you walk through these unsure times my friend.
Love your older identity,