Today’s my birthday.
I’m 60. I don’t feel 60, whatever that means.
Actually, I feel younger and more vital than I did at 40. I’m certainly much happier than I was at 20. Life has its lessons to teach, and they serve us well if we are open to them. I wish I could talk to that 20-year-old I once was.
Here’s what I would tell her:
People-pleasing is a colossal waste of time and energy. Other people’s opinion of you is none of your business. You can’t truly appreciate others until you understand that each person sees the world from his or her own unique perspective.
So be kind and let others think what they will. You be you and let them be them.
I would tell her that all negativity comes from judgement. You learned it in Sunday school: judge not less you be judged. It’s bad enough to judge others when you have no idea what journey they are on, but worse yet to judge yourself. Want guilt and depression? Judge your past. Want anxiety? Judge your future.
When you think about it, it’s pretty amazing that you cause yourself anxiety by judging a future you can’t know anything about, but you do, all the time. Live for this moment only.
Gratitude is the key to happiness. You believe you will be grateful when you are happy, but you’ve got it backwards. Find something, anything, today to be grateful for, and happiness will follow.
Don’t waste time waiting for the right job or the right relationship to claim the happiness that is yours for the taking.
Finally, I would tell her to lighten up. Stop taking yourself so seriously. In the light of eternity, there is just not that much happening today that should cause you to fret.
Know that God is in His heaven and all is right with the world.
Christina Pierce is publisher of The Pine Belt News and Signature Magazine.