If I could go back twenty years, and talk to the girl I was, I would tell her these three things.
First, control is an illusion. You don’t have it. You never will. The harder you grip that wheel, the more out of control you’ll spin. You’ll spend so much of your time and strength on this fruitless endeavor. Surrender this need now, along with every aspect of your life and being. Lay it all down at the feet of your Creator. Have faith and trust. Always. I promise, the moment you do, you’ll know peace.
Second, forgiveness is essential. And it’s not just something you must give others, it’s something you must also give yourself. You’ll spend so many years overcome by guilt and shame because of choices you’ve already made and cannot alter. So much time carrying these burdens that you’ll feel wholly unworthy of anything good. You’ll try to drown your pain in countless bottles, starve yourself to emaciation, and the shame will only compound until it drowns you. Clawing your way back to the surface will be the hardest battle you’ll ever wage. Forgive yourself now. You are worthy. I promise you. As surly as surrender is essential for peace, forgiveness is essential for freedom.
Finally, be present. In each moment you live. Stop holding on to the past. It is gone. Let it go. Bring with you only the lessons you’ve learned. They’ll serve you well. Stop looking ahead for happiness and contentment. There’s no magic moment when you’ll finally arrive. I tell you this now, so you’ll appreciate the NOW of your life. Trust me when I tell you, some of the people currently around you, that you often take for granted, won’t be with you when you reach where I am. All the degrees you’ve earned, countless hours you’ve spent pursuing the fruitless ideal of perfection, all the momentary gratification, and wasted breaths, will no longer matter to you. The only thing you’ll long for, is more time with the ones you’ve lost. Time to make up for all you’ve wasted. Be present, in each moment; fully and joyfully present. Only when you do this will you experience the healing you long for.
Jennifer N. Fenwick, Author, Four Weeks: A Journey From Darkness