I found this long lost photo of myself at my mum's house this week (I'm currently in the UK for the week). The date on the back of the photo is 1974 which would make me 22 years old at the time.
As I look at my tender young self I'm overcome with emotion thinking about how I never knew just how much power I had within me. I was in my prime--my most beautiful, my most thinnest, most popular with guys, and ironically, my most insecure.
And little did I know then that it would take me decades to find my voice, feel comfortable in my own skin, love myself, and finally find someone who was worthy of my love.
If I could go back and speak to my 22-year-old self, here's what I would say to her:
Sweetheart, you don't have to worry so much about being liked by others. Don't be afraid of being alone. Look inside yourself more often. Listen to that quiet inner voice and honor it. Don’t believe everything you think.
Accept yourself as you are--there's nothing wrong with you. Be true to yourself--don't compromise your integrity. Don’t let your insecurities stop you from going after what you really want. Don’t play small. Value your own opinions.
Know that your happiness and peace are not dependent on other people or outside circumstances, but are self-generated. Be gentle and kind to yourself. Place more emphasis on being respected than being liked.
Take time to get out of your head, and don’t overthink things. Take action, take risk, don’t be afraid to fail, and stop apologizing for who you are.
Know that you are more powerful than you realize. These are not lies. This is the TRUTH.