February 4, 2016

10 Things I Wish I had Known 10 Years Ago.

teenage girls friends summer smileTeens and twenties.

A touch of the naïveté.

Feeling like I didn’t really belong anywhere.

Living with my three children and husband years later, I finally belong to someone. I am finally needed somewhere where nobody else could take my place. I am loved, but have always been loved.

The emptiness was in the absence of love for myself.

I wanted to fit into a mold that defined beauty and happiness that I could never quite fit into.

Finding our way in this world and what makes us happy takes time. If I could tell that girl I used to be a few of the lessons I have learned over the years, I would have saved her years of struggle and emptiness. I have a daughter now whom I pray I can guide to make her life a lot less difficult than mine was.

This one is for the girls out there trying to find their way home to themselves.

No matter whether we are in our teens, twenties, thirties, forties, fifties or beyond, we are all the same inside when it comes down to it. We want to be loved; we want to be acknowledged for something; we want to be better than we were yesterday; and we want the best for our life to enjoy the journey.

We all want happiness.

So, what would I tell that girl in the corner of the room who didn’t realize how beautiful she was in her uniqueness? The girl who would rather read books than party? The girl that was hoping to find her way and fit in somewhere?


1. I used to walk into a room and wonder if they liked me; now I walk into a room and wonder if I like them.

Being aware of how we feel around certain people is an indicator of time ill or well spent. Growing older, you learn it is okay to not even be around those who partake in the emptiness of gossip. I want to be with the people talking about change, new experiences, spiritual growth, and their happiness. That has never changed.

Everything else is just a waste of my time and energy. Be with the people who lift you up. I would rather be alone than with people who are talking about others. Real women build each other up. And girls—no matter what age they may be—tear each other down. Even if you aren’t participating, if you are a caring person—along with lowering your vibration—being around gossip will only make you feel awful. People who are genuinely happy—not chronic complainers—people who understand the value of others, people with a good sense of humor and don’t take themselves so seriously, people who are working on their own personal growth are the people who I vibe with.

Besides being home with the people who love me more than anything—my children—I have met women who have become a part of my tribe along my journey of yoga. I am with the seekers. At the church I go to with my family on occasion and work at on Tuesdays, I am also a part of a family of people who have surrendered to something greater than themselves…people who are grounded.

2. The right guy will love you just the way you are, so don’t try so hard.

And most of them you really don’t want to impress anyhow. So what if they are a rock star? The right one may not make you feel like one too, but what they will do is make you feel comfortable.

But don’t wait around, not even for a minute. Your needs come first. So grab some bubbles, take a soak, and take care of you! The right one will take care of you too…and not just until they get bored and are on to the next conquest. Value yourself enough to know you are worthy of the whole package deal. As for the hopeless romantics out there—which I know many of us girls are—don’t fool yourself into thinking you can play the game and not get hurt.

Honor your body.

Honor the temple that houses your beautiful soul.

3. Don’t worry ‘bout a thing, ’cause every little thing gonna be alright.

Bob Marley had it right. Everything you are going through right now or in the future will come to pass and you will become wiser because of it. Things happen to you for you. The things that are hard now will be the treasure that makes you shine in the future.

I promise.

I was once a 23 year old girl who fell in love. We took a break because of my own personal decision. Subsequently, I gave birth to a beautiful baby, he passed away, and I was left feeling incredibly guilty and depressed for years.

So alone.

So lost.

Although I never thought it could happen again, I met my now husband with whom I share two more children with and one on the way. Although getting to this time I have now with the people I love was incredibly painful, the experience is understood to be a tremendous blessing and gift. We don’t know what we have until it’s gone and some of life’s hardest trials and deepest wounds also are what bring us to see our greatest light.

No matter what you are going through, have faith, keep on dreaming and never give up.

4. You are beautiful just the way you are.

I spent years thinking I wasn’t pretty enough, I wasn’t smart enough, and I wasn’t good enough to deserve anything good. The world belonged to everyone else who had that special something and I was somehow left out of the equation. Well, guess what? I was wrong and so are you. You have that special something. Nobody can replace you, so find what makes your eyes sparkle and let your soul shine. And, if you haven’t found it yet, you will. Time is on your side and your life’s answers will reveal themselves to you. The right people will see you, get you, and love you for you.

5. Don’t waste time on regrets of the past.

Spend your time in hopes for your future and envision it better. We truly do create tomorrow by what we dream today. Our imagination is the spark of what our future will hold. Dream big Don’t downsize your ambitions or plans to fit in with what the rest of the world tells you will work out for your life.

Believe in yourself first.

Every single thing that happens in our life is a part of a greater lesson for us. Dust it all off…all the times you seemingly failed.  They are lessons making you better.  You may not see it now but they are the pieces of the puzzle linking you to where you need to be in the future for your own good. Believe it.

6. I didn’t fit in then and sometimes don’t feel like I fit in now, but that is ok.

Super Bowl Sunday is coming up and everybody is ready for the big game…everyone except moi. Yes, I have tried my best to like the sport and get excited like every other American, but I don’t think it will be happening in this lifetime of mine. Ever hear of a cheerleader who isn’t a football fanatic?

Well, that would have been me. I signed up to be in a sport in school and the only part I liked about it was the dancing. I will be rooting for my son if he ever goes to play. But, other than that, you won’t hear me going ballistic over a ball being caught and run across a field.

I don’t get it and never have.

I would rather read up on something new, listen to or create music, have a talk on social conditions and new ideas, or work on a creative project. The best thing about the Super Bowl is the food. I am pregnant, and very excited about the chili dip I will be making in the kitchen. So, again, like what you like and forget the rest. The world needs more people who think differently and don’t quite fit in. Your passions are keys to your calling so be true to you.

7. Cut out that alcohol before it gets you into trouble.

The people making fools of themselves aren’t cool. Besides, you feel like hell the next day if you consume more than your body can handle. Don’t waste your youth or adulthood in so-called happy hour. People who do it regularly aren’t happy. Changing self-destructive habits can be a lifelong battle. Don’t let this be one of them. A life in moderation is a good life and alcohol is a legalized slippery slope.

8. That handbag is someone else’s money making trademark. So go ahead and make your own.

Well, maybe that one is more for the entrepreneur at heart. I personally never liked big money trends, but I will still say this to all the girls out there who have to have the trend. Well, at least someone is profiting. Beauty comes from the inside and who you are. Spoiling yourself once in a while is ok. And what girl doesn’t want to feel like a princess once in a while? But don’t give in to thinking you need something of material value to make you happy.

We’ve all done it

The thing is, that kind of happiness lasts for a few minutes of your life.

And definitely don’t give in to thinking that all those pretty things will make you any prettier! Becoming really busy with things you love makes you feel fulfilled and pretty. Spending money is quick and easy and so is the feeling of contentment that comes from it. As you become less self-absorbed and act more in service of others, you realize the things that make you feel good are making other people feel good.

Right now, I primarily serve my children. The other day I spent a whopping fifty dollars on makeup, which is rare for me. When I spend hard earned money now, I know anything out of my wallet also comes out of things for them. I would rather spend it on them and spend my time being the mom they need me to be.

9. Get creative. Go back to your roots.

Some of the best times in my life right now are when I can be creative with my kids. Outside of my responsibilities as a housewife, I am a mom first. We sing, dance, do arts, make up stories and take turns telling them at bedtime…and just have fun! Children are so much better to be around than most adults who see this world in black or white. They see it in color.

The great thing about kids is they are free, creative, and loving. And, if we pay attention, they teach us how to be that way again too. Remember what you loved doing as a kid and find a way to bring more of it back into your life. Did you enjoy dance years ago? Find a class. You are never too old to begin something again. Your future—and your past self—will thank you.

10. Have fun. Life is what we make of it. It is yours so live it like it belongs to you!

It is not your family’s, not your friends’, and not your parents’…unless you are a teen reading this; most of the time your parents know a bit more than you.

Your life is yours and only yours!

Make choices based on what makes you happy, not what you think will make other people happy, and definitely not based on what will make other people like you. People will always have their opinions, but the best people mind their own. Be with those people and be one of those people.

Don’t live to impress others. They will either like you or not, and the truth is—most of the time—how they feel won’t have anything to do with you, your beliefs, your dreams, or your experiences. Paint them any way you chose. Follow your heart.

You are the master of your destiny.

You are the universe in ecstatic motion and the world awaits your awakening.




Relephant read:

Self Acceptance–A Tricky Proposition


Author: Laura Lee Lakova

Apprentice Editor: Lois Person/Editor:Renee Picard

Image: justine-reyes at Flickr



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