As we journey through life, we learn a lot of things. We develop all kinds of skills. We grow in wisdom. Here’s a little exercise you might want to try. Imagine you could talk with your younger self—maybe eighteen or so. What advice would you give your younger self from your current age and perspective? (You might even want to dig out a picture of your younger self and speak to that picture.) Here are a few pieces of advice I would give to my younger self.
- Enter the Sisters of Notre Dame. And stay there. This decision will prove to be one of the most significant
decisions of your life.
- Stay close to your siblings. Your shared formative years with them can be a strong bond for life.
- Pray every day. Share how you’re feeling and what you’re thinking with God, with Jesus. Don’t censor anything. Then listen. Really listen.
- Love and respect your parents. Pay attention to them. Say “thank you” to them often. Care for them especially in their declining years.
- Surround yourself with good, upbeat, and fun friends. Lean on them. Allow them to lean on you. Always make time to nourish these relationships.
- Be attentive to the beauty and mystery of nature. Get outside every day. Feed the birds. Talks to squirrels. Watch sunsets. Gaze at the stars. Give thanks.
- Embrace the adversity, pain, and sorrow that life allots to you. Let these experiences be the rich soil where humility, patience, and compassion may grow.
- Hang on to your sense of humor. No matter what.
- Recognize your limits. Admit your mistakes. Say you’re sorry. Ask for help when you need it.
- Be a teacher. Be a writer. These two professions will enrich your life in ways you can’t even begin to imagine.
Those are a few of my pieces of advice. Now it’s your turn. What advice would you give your younger self?
Another piece of advice I would give myself is to surround myself with good music. All kinds. Here’s a song by the group MercyMe. It is appropriately entitled “Dear Younger Me.”
Would you be willing to share with us some of the advice you would give your younger self?
PS: Thank you to all who came to the Sisters of Notre Dame annual fundraiser last Sunday: our Chicken/Ribs Barbecue and Boutique. We serve about 3,000 dinners between noon and 5:00. The event is held at our school, Notre Dame Cathedral Latin, in Chardon. In case you missed last Sundays, we repeat the event next Sunday, September 25. Enjoy a drive into the scenic fall countryside, a tasty dinner (take-outs are available too), all kinds of crafts, and meet lots of nice people!