What Would You Tell Your Younger Self?
An unknown author once said, “You carry the wisdom of each year you have lived in your soul”… and this rings true for each and every person who is blessed with life on the Earth. I have been on a soul journey myself the past year, and with each step forward I take in self-love and self-acceptance, I have an ache in my heart for the younger Brooke who focused so deeply on the world and neglected to see the true beauty that came from within. As I watch my own children with unconditional admiration and love, I think to myself, How could they ever not see how perfect they are?!? And yet, I know, that the world will try to tell them otherwise over and over again on their own journey. I posed a question to my peers; a question to those close to me and my journey that I was curious to see if they had the same experience as me, and I was humbled and touched to see what their responses were. There was a common theme in the retort, and the beauty of the words made that young girl still inside of me feel safe and loved on a level that I hope to pass onto my children each and every day.
The question: If you could tell your younger self one thing, what would it be?
Claire Fillingham Don't worry and obsess about everything!
Wow- how many times have you told yourself this, yet yourself just went on ruminating on the worry of the moment? I have found that everything in this life is temporary- the good, the bad, the hard, and the easy. There is a beauty in realizing that God is in control and that worry and obsessing over each and every struggle, fear, and possibility in this world will only lead to a distrust in God, who is ultimately in control anyway. And thank Goodness for that. If you think about it, no one wants to be in control of everything- that is a pressure that is not worth the power. As Elsa reminds us in song, “Let it go!!!”
Amber Markmann Simmons Take more chances and don't be afraid of failure.
In this life, there are no failures. Each failure is simply a lesson that creates growth, wisdom, and strength in us that helps mold us into using our full potential. Somehow, we have allowed society to tell us that failures are a reflection of our worth, yet each person will fail at some point because, alas, we are HUMAN! So does that mean none of us are worthy? Michael Jordan said, “I have failed over and over again in my life, and that is why I succeed”. If one of the most successful basketball players in history says failure brought him success, what makes you any different? Go for it; take the risk of failing. The reward is with the humility.
Kathleen Friedell Pawson Don't look to others to find your love joy and peace and Ashley Neal Callicutt You are and have always been GOOD ENOUGH.
To me, these two go hand in hand. When I was struggling to find my worth in the world, Dr. Genie Burnett drew a circle on the white board in her office and wrote my name in it. She said everything inside of this circle you can control. Everything outside of the circle is out of your control. This means that I cannot only look to others for peace, security, love, safety, and affirmation; I have to create those inside of myself so I can then feel safe and loved no matter what the world throws my way. I cannot always control my circumstances, but I can always control my self-worth, self-love, and self-acceptance. As Ashley says, I AM GOOD ENOUGH! If I find that from within, my joy and peace will be a constant that will not be altered by my surroundings.
Lauren Hobbs Take time for yourself. Explore you. Don't rush into what society says you should be doing with your life.
As we have discussed, society can be cruel, stereotypes are made to be broken, and no one of us is alike; so why do we hold ourselves to the standards and timelines of those around us? More marriages, more careers, more friendships would flourish if we all took the time to get to know ourselves on a level that rocks the core of societal norms. I literally had to take a “Leisure Test” while in treatment for my eating disorder because I had zero clue who I was because I had always conformed to those around me. At 32 I am finally discovering my passion and my path because I allowed myself to truly sit still and get to know myself. I pray that no matter how long it takes, we all can take the time to know our true selves and our true passions. Our families, our communities, and our world benefits when you take the time to find the true you!
Laurie Markle You're going to be okay. The insecurity that is driving you is unfounded. The people you're worried you'll look stupid in front of, disappoint or never live up to: they were faking it, too. We're all faking it 'till we make it. We're all pretending we know what's going on. The truth: none of us know what we're doing. God's got cooler, wilder things in store for you than you are able to imagine. Let Him do the work and worrying - just enjoy the ride.
This gave me all the feels; even sitting here writing this out, I don’t even pretend to have the answers or be perfect at this thing called life- I just got to the point where I could actually start handling it without an eating disorder to numb it all out, so this spoke to me. You’re going to be okay. How many times in my life have I needed these words? And to think, I didn’t need them from anyone but God and myself. Tears build as I am typing because what a gift to give yourself in a time of strife, need, and uncertainty… you are going to be okay. We are all faking it, even Oprah. J
Brandi Guy Doublestein Be patient and trust God
God has this!!! It is such a simple concept that is the hardest leap of faith to put in action. God is in control, his plan is perfect, and if we sit back and let Him do His thing, we will reap the rewards of being His faithful servant his beloved child. Once this concept is put into action in your life, you will find that not sweating the small stuff is actually a possibility in your world. The big trials and obstacles that God lays out before you no longer make you question “why me” but make your ask “how can I use this to better myself and others?” The precious moments, milestones, and gifts become etched in your heart instead of overlooked and rushed through. God’s plan and love are perfect. We as humans cannot change or manipulate all that life throws at us, but with full trust in God, we can see the silver lining in all that we experience in this life.
Although the social media craze has had its downfalls, the connection of experiences and wisdom that we can receive by truly listening to others experiences is a priceless gift that has been bestowed upon our generation. Your words and your experiences matter. YOU matter. And if we can help our children realize this about themselves, we are creating a better world in spite of what moral, spiritual, or political wars are going on around us. Thank you all for being a light in this world when the threat darkness can overwhelm the soul. My inner, teenage Brooke is feeling the love, and I pray that we can be the change that we want to see in this world for all generations to come.