Today is International Women’s Day and #DearMe is a campaign for women writers to write to their younger selves as a way to reach out to young women today to offer them wisdom and encouragement. Here’s my offering to this worldwide discussion.
1. Love is a verb and usually that verb is “forgive.” Mistakes made while trying aren’t a problem. Being paralyzed with fear and never doing anything is. Forgive yourself, forgive others – forgiveness is for you, not for them, it makes your heart lighter, helps to open it. Hard hearts shatter, pliable ones heal (scars are sexy) and are quite strong.
2. Want something. So few people in the world really strive for anything. Want something so badly that you jump out of bed in the morning – you go and get it.
3. Let it go. Feelings, lovers, clothes that no longer work, other people’s expectations, jobs. If you want to travel far, travel light and this also means listening to yourself, making hard choices, and respecting them.
4. Become good at something. Don’t know what that is? Doesn’t matter, start right here. Be professional and practice excellence, be curious – the something will show up.
5. We teach people how to treat us. Do no harm, take absolutely no crap. Zero. This includes taking crap from yourself – not one more negative syllable of self-talk.
6. Become your own woman — intellectually, emotionally, financially, physically — the faster you do this, the cleaner your relationships will be. The day that I decided to no longer feel bad about my body, in fact, I was going to love it no matter what anyone else said – that was a game changer.
7. And let people know how they can help you. They will tell you that you put out such an independent vibe that as much as they love you and are excited about you, they can’t find a space for themselves in your life and it will frustrate them. Let the good ones love you – when they ask, open up, find room for them.
8. Call your parents and grandparents every Sunday.
9. The greatest gift you can ever give someone is the permission to be their authentic selves. People waste a lot of time and energy posturing and it gets exhausting. Be real and give the people in your life the permission to do so too. Love them entirely.
10. You can’t have courage unless you’re afraid, so develop the courage to live the life you want.