Given the opportunity to write a letter to my sixteen-year-old self comes perfectly timed, because I now know that my passage through this life comes with no blunders or errors of judgment. I've encountered failed and successful relationships, GPA's that always fell short of a 4.0, loving, yet sometimes irritating parents and siblings, great friends and on occasion true enemies, yet I see all of it as perfect. Because moments of varying degrees of intensity are a part of the beautiful complexity of my journey through life, I learned to stop perceiving certain life moments as mistakes. I would only be entertaining a meaningless desire if I acted on an opportunity to return to my 16-year-old self with the purpose of correcting or changing my past decisions.
Correction is meaningless is an article excerpt from The Legacy Letters: 30 Women Address the Next Generation Available for purchase at Amazon.com
For if I were allowed to sit on the shoulder of my 16-year-old self and re-guide her through my history to deal differently with past situations I felt were address incorrectly, together we would surely encounter a new set of situations and outcomes. Some of those new outcomes would most certainly qualify for the self-examined misstep column. I have found the situations I perceived as negative or positive were neither, they were merely situations designed to lead me to the lessons of life I needed to learn. It is not possible to remove actions described as "Opps I shouldn't have done that" from a life.
Dearest 16-year-old Self,
This letter is to let you know you did a great job of getting me where I am today. My message from the future is that you and all the sixteen-year old women are heroines, with unique journeys leading to unique accomplishments. As heroines, you come furnished with an arsenal of tools, instruments, and allies. The key is consciously realizing that you already have what you need so you can effectively use them for your highest potential. This letter will go over the three primary tools you already have for your self-empowerment through life.
One of your primary tools of empowerment comes in the form of intuition, also described as hunches, or just "I get this feeling that..." At the age of sixteen, freely test out your intuition. Make an intention to strengthen it to razor sharpness. Learn to listen to your hunches, to your feelings, and to your desires. You know a lot let your intuition uncover it. The ability to trust you own intuition is the way to believe in yourself. Proficiency in this area is the connection to healthy self worth and is how you become your own best friend. Nevertheless, you must always use your intuition with the compassionate tool of gentle self-forgiveness. Coupling intuition with tools of self-compassion is how you honor yourself and maintain a healthy self-worth. The second item you already possess is your voice; use your voice to communicate healthy boundaries for yourself. Speaking up keeps you in tune with your preservation and bonded with your self-respect. During your day-to-day encounters, people and situations that make you feel uncomfortable will present themselves. Although these types of situations are a part of every person's life, it is not okay for another person to intentionally or unintentionally put you in a position where you feel unsafe physically or emotionally. It is your right to stand up against it. The greatest repellant for these occurrences is to acknowledge and state that your personal boundaries are crossed. Follow up this verbal acknowledgment by firmly stating that you want the uncomfortable behavior or situation stopped. Depending on the intensity of the situation, your response can take on some version of the following: Simple Verbal Boundary Setting statements used for every day type moments.
These types of situations require you to seek out other people for assistance for setting boundaries. Find a people or persons that can help you protect yourself. * Tell a parent, teacher, or a trusted adult. You can also call a teen help hotline if that is the safer option for you. * Should you find yourself in a situation where you cannot protect yourself, it is important that you do not suffer in silence. Whether simple or complex, developing consistent healthy boundary setting is a process of self-growth. The only way to effectively develop it is to put it into practice as situations requiring its use arise. Life comes with unexpected rewards and challenges. Know that everyone encounters feelings of fear in the form of uncertainty and inadequacy. Fear crops up as an opponent many times and in different disguises during your journey. If you sense that fear is filling your mind and taking over your confidence know that there is no error in retreat. Knowing when to retreat is a tool from your intelligence. Use moments of retreat as a time to seek God's spiritual guidance. Spiritual guidance is your ally and is always with you rather you see it or not. Through prayer or meditation, stay in touch with your guidance and consult Him on a regular basis. The key is to utilizing this powerful ally is being open to hearing and accepting the answers given. Spiritual answers come in different and numerous ways. For example, you may hear guidance through your intuition or receive in the caring words of a parent. You answer may be in the book a friend recommends or presented in the presentation of an opportunity. Just be open, listen, hear, and accept the answer given. Your spiritual experiences include unanswered prayers containing fervent requests for specific relationships, jobs, and desired opportunities. Make the best effort you can to trust your guidance. I find that when I intentionally go against guidance and pursue what is deemed "Not for me" I encounter pain; on the other hand when I yield and accept the just work through the disappointment of an unanswered prayer I find that the God's alternative is always greater than I can imagine. If for some reason, you find that you did not listen to guidance, pull out your self-forgiveness and chalk it up to a lesson you needed to experience. Know that you always have God's spiritual guidance regardless of your choice to heed it in the immediate. Armed with intuition as a tool, your voice as an instrument and God as an ally, the supplies for your heroine journey is ready to continue. They are what you need to choose your blind turns with caution and celebrate your milestones with abandon joy. To all the 16-year-old heroines know you are made of great character and strength. There will be times when you will experience profound peace at the bottom of what can be described as one of your darker moments, have great discomfort, and fear at the top of one your more popular successes. Remember there are no mistakes; Learn from your journey and teach from your experience.