10 Life Lessons I Would Offer My 20 Year Old Self

Posted on Posted in Poetry

1. Love your body.

You let your legs walk you, your lungs breathe you, your heart beat you without ever saying thank you. The result is that you do not love you, hear you, are completely out of touch with you. So when illness comes it will surprise you. Not because your body hides it to spite you, but because you have trained yourself to be deaf when it cries out to you.

2. Honor and respect women.

You think you respect women but you don’t. Because you have not been broken by one yet. And you think you honor women but you don’t. Because you have yet to see one break more courageously than you ever could.

And you will. On both counts.

3. Honor your ex’s.

They allow you to spar and train with them in the art of love, and for the privilege take your hardest hits, your lowest blows, your cheapest shots, all so that you can grow into someone the love of your life will one day benefit from. Bow to them.

4. Learn to forgive yourself.

Things are going to get bad. You are going to do things you regret. People are going to get hurt, and you will experience a level of suffering that you were never prepared for. Welcome to life. Now begin forging a practice of self love and forgiveness so that in time you can help others to heal a wound that belongs to all of us.

5. Fall in love with yourself first.

Two halves can’t make two wholes. They can only fight over who gets the other half. If you’re looking for someone to fill you up, you will only ever be disappointed. So find love inside yourself first. Then use it as a tuning fork to find another who has also done the work.

6. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that Spirituality is soft.

Because its actually the deepest, darkest part of your own personal nightmare that your ego is terrified of entering into and transforming. But you can’t think that. So you simply call it bullshit, and then prove it to yourself by pointing to the parts of it that are.

7. Stop holding grudges.

You’re holding your love for someone hostage until they do something that you deem worthy of its release. Reflect on this.

8. You cannot see things as they are.

Your trust your own perspective and have yet to notice that everything you see is skewed through a lens of your life’s making. You have yet to learn how to account for it by identifying and removing it from your vision so that you can make evaluations about something without even including your own opinion.

9. You don’t have to give up to let go.

You are going to be given an opportunity to give up. To abandon the rock of your certainty and let it roll back down the hill as you weep watching it. Then you are going to attempt to walk up a mountain of mystery without any baggage at all and everything about it is going to feel uncomfortable, pointless, wrong. You will be scared. It will hurt. People will laugh. You will have prolonged periods of self doubt, and shame and regret. For a time you will enter a wasteland where nothing will make sense and the only thing you will know for sure is that you cannot turn back because that will only lead to the same emptiness that spurned you to leave in the first place. And then, when you have reached your breaking point so many times that you have lost all desire to escape or succeed or be happy or free you will give up more fully than you ever have done so before and in a moment that might last a week or a month or a year your shoulders will drop and you will slowly begin to laugh, and from a distance no one will be able to tell whether you are having the time of your life or crying. Because there will have become one and the same.

10. You will forget all this.

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