To my daughters, sons-in-law (and one boyfriend), my grandkids, my nieces and nephews, and anyone else I love:
If I were to die today, this is what I want you to know:
- You are whole and wonderful just as you are. You are enough.
- You are surrounded with love from all who have held you close in their hearts and this will buoy you up when times get tough.
- Times will get tough and holding on for dear life is often the best course.
- Resist cutting and running, unless the situation demands that for your mental health or safety, you need to cut and run. In that case, do so quickly and with purpose.
- Focus on what you can do in your own life rather than fussing with lives you can’t control.
- Understand that not always saying how you feel may be a gift to others. There’s plenty of time when you’re not hungry or tired to assess if that’s really how you feel.
- Spread a bit of cheer every day. Toss out a joke or a compliment just for fun.
- Hug liberally, even those who squirm a little. They need a hug too even if they don’t always know it.
- Say “I love you” often and “Thank you” as much as possible.
- Notice the little positive things in life that bring you pleasure and do those things more often.
- Give yourself permission to explore who you are deep down by taking time for some kind of artistic expression, from singing loudly in the shower to dancing a jig when you’re happy to writing, painting, composing, digging in the dirt, or anything else that connects you to your authentic, deep-down self.
- Allow yourself to try new things and do them badly at first. That’s the only way you’ll ever get good at anything new.
- When you’re wrong, admit it as fast as possible and ask for forgiveness.
- When someone asks you to forgive them, do so with an open heart.
- Get outside often and luxuriate in the beauty of nature. This will feed your soul.
- Allow yourself the full range of emotions from anger to joy, but be judicious with the words you say when angry.
- Open your arms to a healthy, happy, fulfilling life and say yes to people and activities that nurture your heart and soul.
- Recognize that there is a power greater than yourself and that you do not have to take on all of life all by yourself.
- Understand that surrender is often the healthiest avenue to take. Not running away but recognizing that you cannot control what’s happening and you need help. Admitting that truth to yourself and others will open the door to healing.
- Look for people in your life who laugh at the same jokes, understand the importance of authenticity, and would never intentionally hurt you with their words or actions.
- Believe in the basic goodness in people. You’ll find that almost everyone will rise to your positive expectations of them.
- Don’t measure yourself against others. You are unique and wonderful and that comparison is not accurate or even true.
- Understand there are many routes to the same destination, which is a happy, healthy, and fulfilling life. Don’t worry if your route is off the beaten path.
- Give yourself and others a break. You are not required or expected to be perfect. Don’t expect perfection from those around you.
- Open your heart and mind to the beauty of this life and live in a state of gratitude for all the many blessings, big and small, that surround you.
I am sure I could add more, but these are at least some of the thoughts that come immediately to mind. The bottom line is always to return to number one on the list. You are, my dears, absolutely enough just as you are.
Offered with humility and love.