Messages to my younger self

26. December 2022

The big gift in growing older is to gain wisdom. Wisdom is different than knowledge. It comes from life experiences, from the ups and downs we all have in life.

I love connecting and listening to humans that lived a long life. There is so much to learn from their sacred view, having experienced so much, often providing refreshingly calm and eye-opening perspectives. Experienced humans know that our neuroticism, absurd self-critism, and irrational fears seem so big in the moment but are so small looking back. They see what really counts and are often the most humble people we can meet.

I know that there are also many who unfortunately become more rigid in their opinions, stuck in blame and resentment, or tired of life as they age. It does take so much courage and inner strength to go through life becoming wiser, taking challenges as something necessary to live through in order to grow.

Maybe you’ve had a wise older person in your life growing up, receiving valuable input in challenging moments. Many of us probably didn’t.
Let’s not forget: we all are this old wise self, no matter what age we are currently at. We lived through good and bad times, found ourselves at important decision points, gained and lost people, went through sickness and health. We can look back at a younger version of ourselves, seeing us lost, insecure or too full of ourselves. Observing today, it all might seem okay and we notice that we can be very grateful to be where we are now.

Try this short exercise:
1) Close your eyes, take a deep breath in and out. For a moment, connect to the wise version of yourself that you are today. The one who can see that everything that happened in childhood, teenager and adult years was for a reason. Become this version of you who sees the gifts in all that happened, sometimes maybe bumping your hand against the head, thinking: “wow,… what if I had known back then? I could have relaxed so much more…”.
2) Remember a time in your life when things were not easy.
3) Imagine you can connect to this younger version of you. What would you tell yourself from your perspective today? Find calming and kind words. When there is nothing left to say, come back by opening your eyes.
Reflect: are those messages maybe still relevant for the “you” today? ☺️

Here are 16 things I would tell my 20-year-old self:

Dear Sophie,
1: I want you to know that there are millions of ways you can life your life.
2: You only learn from experience and never from spinning it in your mind. Just keep on walking and your path will unfold naturally.
3: You are supported and it is okay to receive support. Do not be afraid to depend on people, just make sure you feel good with them.
4: There is a deep inner peace to be found inside of you. Stop looking outside.
5: Do not ask people for advice who have not walked the way you want to go, they will only project their fears. Ask those who have.
6: You are allowed to rest, to do nothing, to be ‘unproductive’.
7: It is okay to feel lost and not knowing where to go next. Even if this is how it is for your whole life. Trust.
8: Sometimes others win, sometimes you win. Whatever comes, cheer for them or for you.
9: Learn ways to connect to your body and get out of your mind. Move, breath, touch … feel the aliveness and strength inside of you.
10: Stop chasing after people who only like you if you meet their expectations. Be yourself and the right people will automatically come.
11: Stop feeling guilty all the time, you deserve to enjoy life to its fullest.
12: Discomfort is not bad and you are strong enough to feel and move through it. The more you are able to feel discomfort, the more joy you will feel. No mud, no lotus.
13: You are allowed to change your mind.
14: 99 % of the things you are so scared of never happen. Other things happen and you deal with them as they come.
15: You only know if you tried.
16: You are good enough. <3

What messages would you love to give to your younger self? Let me know in the comments.