If I were 22 Again!
My father used to quote George Bernard Shaw saying “youth is wasted on the young". I never understood what that meant until now, 30 odd years later. When people used to ask me as a child "what do you want to do when you grow up", my answer was always the same “I just want to be happy". It was sage advice even then, as again my father used to say “life is too short to spend it doing a job that you hate, so find something you love to do and you will be successful". He was so right. So hence, #IfIWere22 again, there are some things I would do differently, not that I have regrets, because I believe everything happens for a reason, and there is a lesson in every experience - even if it's just that you don't want to repeat that experience!!
If we could find a way to combine the wisdom of age with a youthful body and energy, then we would have it made. However, the one thing I do know is that you must live your life for you, and no one else. Do not live by the court of public opinion, for it matters not what anyone thinks but you. If you are happy with your decisions, then good. That does not mean that you don't listen to the advice of your elders or people you respect, they have much to teach you so ask the 90 year old in your family for their perspective. The answers may surprise you! However, the final decision of what to do must remain with you, and it should feel comfortable. If it doesn't feel right, don't do it, no matter how "logical" it may seem, your heart knows best. This has been proven in science now, how our heart actually sends more messages to our brain than the other way round. I call intuition your "heavenly GPS"; it is there to guide you so listen. The ego feeds your fear, so don't listen to that voice, as it never shuts up and it finds a way to sabotage your life, but the Higher Self is a voice from Source energy, and that is the voice you should listen to. Align yourself with the Universal power that creates worlds.
Don't let money or material things be your incentive to work hard. We arrive here naked and we will leave naked, so focus on food for your soul, and financial reward will follow. What makes you really feel good? At the end of your life, you will want to look back on your life and say “I loved, I lived fully and I made a difference" even in one person's life, that is huge. Find something that really "turns you on", makes you feel like you are contributing something to making the world a better place. Sure we all have to do jobs when we are young that put food on the table, I used to clean houses, but I never lost sight of a higher goal, I never let go of my dreams, no matter how crazy some people thought I was. Dream big, but have the tenacity and drive to make them come true, for nothing is for free, everything demands effort, which is reality. Life only gives you what you put into it, make plans, but be willing to adjust them if something else comes your way.
Don't be attached to the outcome, as if you try to force something to happen, other better opportunities may not surface. The Universe is always unfolding in your favour, even though you may not think so. Many times in my life when one door slammed in my face, another window opened, and I kept walking forward. Don't hang onto the past, let things go as when you are so busy looking behind you, you cannot see the opportunities ahead, and you stumble because you are not looking where you are going. Accept that every action has a consequence; be prepared to be responsible for your own actions, take ownership of who you are, and your behavior. This is very important, as those who don't - end up being the victim and blaming the whole world for their woes. They can never get ahead, because they are drowning in a sea of negativity.
Don't sweat the small stuff, and also don't sweat over things you have no control over, like paying your taxes or the price of gas. Your time and attention are valuable, so don't support energy leaks in your life like worrying about your friends’ dramas or getting caught up in other people's problems. I am not saying you should not help friends out, but there is a difference between being supportive and enabling. Set very clear boundaries about what you will allow in your life and in your relationships. That includes work relationships, family, friends and romance. People will treat you how you allow them to treat you, and you are in charge of that. You don't have to be aggressive; you just have to learn that saying "no" is okay.
Be at peace with yourself and who you are, love yourself, no matter what. Even if you do things you are not proud of, as we all do, let it go, forgive yourself so you can forgive others their digressions when necessary. If you don't love and respect yourself, you cannot love another. Take care of yourself, eat better, exercise and spend time in quiet thoughts out in nature so your mind can clear and recharge. Too many people cannot put down their iPhone for 5 minutes, so leave it in the car and take a walk by a lake or hike up a mountain. God speaks to you in those places, and he doesn't need an iPhone. Mother Nature is the most healing energy we have, for she never changes, and the sun shines daily on the criminal as well as the nun, so learn from that not to judge others, or yourself too harshly. Compassion will go a long way in your life, for if you walk a mile in another man's shoes, you will understand his journey.
My challenges along the way have been to stay true to myself, as I was way too much of a people pleaser and it didn't lead me to a very good place sometimes. There are times when I wish I had stuck to my guns more, but I have forgiven myself and here I am today, happy in my own skin and really enjoying life. I wake up every day glad to be alive, no matter what, and that attitude has saved me from sinking into depression. Keep always an Attitude of Gratitude, for the small things in life - a baby's smile, a rose, the birds singing. Take time to enjoy those things - again a couple of great quotes I live by "a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step" and " don't spend too much time making a living that you have no time left in which to live". Namaste.