On my birthday I spontaneously decided to write a note to my younger self:
Dear 21 year old Diane,
I'm writing from 35+ (ok ++) years in the future to let you know everything turns out just fine. Life is good. Thought I'd share some tips to help get you through the next few decades:
Calm down. Really. Just calm down. Nothing you think is a big deal IS, in the grand scheme of things, and the things that really ARE a big deal sneaked up on you anyway. It’s OK. You get through it.
Get off the crazy train. This is a big one. Learning that only your own thoughts create your reality will change your life forever. You’re the one making yourself sick with fear and worry. Other people aren’t driving you crazy, your thoughts about other people make you feel crazy! Stop it. Read Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich, Florence Scovel Shinn’s The Game of Life and How to Play It, Louise Hay’s You Can Heal Your Life and anything by Dr. Wayne Dyer as soon as you can.
Quit participating in other people’s drama. You don’t have time for this. Yeah, it may make you feel wanted to listen for hours to some perceived slight endured by a friend but it will never be productive. Learn the difference between someone who truly wants and needs help and those who just like to bitch. Being of service and helping others through difficult challenges is a fantastic way to spend your time. Listening to gossip or bitching is not. Do not gossip or bitch yourself. The friend who tells you that “you’re just getting it off your chest and bitching will make you feel better” is wrong. You’ll come up with this phrase in 2015 and learn to live by it: “There may be drama all around you, but you don’t have to buy a ticket to the show.”
Understand your exterior world reflects your interior world. It really does. When you see someone in your life not being authentic, ask yourself “where in my own life am I not being authentic?” This is a hard lesson but a great one! When you feel love for yourself, you see love in the world. When you feel fear, you see things all around you to be afraid of. When you judge yourself, you judge the world. I’m not kidding. Learning to look inside first will save you tons of time and at least a few years of therapy.
Romance isn’t always easy. Well, for you at least. It takes three tries to get a husband who loves you for who you are and adores your family. Keep at it. He’s far from perfect, but then again, neither are you. The important thing is to grow together in respect and love. When things get rough, ask yourself, “what is being reflected back to me in this situation?” Remember he’s one of your teachers in this life. You both learn from each other how to love on a deeper level. Hang in there. It’s a wonderful experience once you get on track!
The kids turn out to be your greatest joy. I know you question the whole kid thing and wonder if it’s for you. It is. Your son and daughter prove to be your most significant life teachers and bring you more love than you ever thought your heart could hold. Even through the hard times, remember they are God’s perfect reflection of love. They grow up to be such beautiful, soulful people who are spreading light throughout this planet. They are a huge blessing in your life and in the lives of many others. And you get a bonus! When you marry your third husband you get two more kids to love (without the pain of childbirth or additional stretch marks…score!)
Take your nose off the grindstone every once in a while. Yes, you have a great work ethic and love to be the one to take care of extended family, but lighten up. Go to more parties, especially where you’re not in charge. Give others a chance to shine and you'll stop complaining about being the one doing all the work. Take more nature walks. Play with your kids when they’re young. Enjoy simple pleasures. Quit obsessing about your weight. Stop worrying about money. Enjoy life more. You get better at this, but no harm in starting as soon as you’re aware that you can be a bit of a hard ass. Now you’re aware.
Life is hard. And life is fantastic. You’ll grow and benefit from it all. Ok, I’m not gonna lie. You have some rough stuff coming up. Heartache, tragedy and trauma will come to you. And you’ll have angels in the guise of family, friends and professionals to help you heal. You’ll find resources in books, classes and teachers that will help you process your pain into wisdom. Exploring spirituality becomes your passion. You'll discover the truth about the divine energy of love within you that will lead to true joy. You’ll meet a few jerks, too. That’s OK...you'll eventually figure out they were an important part of your evolution. Don’t back away from the pain. Meet it head on. Move through it with as much love as possible. I swear it’ll be worth it.
Meditation is always the answer. This is your life saver. You learn to meditate in your thirties, but if you can manage it sooner, it calms everything down. You get healthier in mind, body and spirit with the continued practice and for the rest of your life you preach its benefits to anyone who’ll listen. Find the calm place inside where you can hear the quiet truth of your own heart. God lives there.
Every day, every minute, in every situation ask yourself, “What does love look like here? Love for myself and love for everyone involved?” And then ask yourself, “How does love move me forward?” Ok, this is the biggie…learning this changes everything in your life for the better. Understand EVERYONE is a child of the intelligent, creative, expansive energy of love and that energy runs through everything on this and every other planet. We're talking divine love, not the "I love my slippers" kinda love. It's this energy of creation that is responsible for everything, everywhere across all space and time. Understand this and you've got everything you'll ever need. Use love to understand and act in all situations, especially the challenging ones. You eventually understand that your goal is to live from love. You’ll work on this the rest of your life. The joy this brings, the incredible experiences, the fabulous people…it would blow your mind if you knew what’s coming. Just trust me. A life lived through divine love is your work in this lifetime. And it’s so much more fun than you think it’s gonna be!
Ok, now go live your own life. Enjoy yourself and understand the process of living brings incredible lessons. Embrace that truth. Live from love.
Sending you much love from your very cool future,
P.S. You’re going to meet a super cute guy in college. It doesn’t end well. Do it anyway…you’ll be smiling for years.