Today I wrote a card for a friend who has just had a new baby. I wanted to offer some sage words of advice for this wonderful new human, and it got me to thinking – if I could sit with him today and tell him the top 5 most important things I have learned at this moment in time, they would be this….
1. Don’t take yourself too seriously. You are indeed a wondrous, rare and precious miracle – as is every other wondrous, rare, precious and miraculous human being on the planet. Love them all as much as you can – 99.9% of them are inherently good – they are all, at times, a little bit lost and often confused, as you will be too. But provided you can remember not to take yourself too seriously, you will find your way. And with good humour, and a heart filled with love, you just might help a great number of those other rare diamonds find theirs too.
2. Perspective. Gain it wherever you can, and judge nothing until you have considered it. Every view of the world is unique to the observer. You will feel intensely right at times, yet viewed from another’s perspective; you may find that a fact is more of a mirage, than a solid object. You may learn that you can also not be exactly right about all things, and that your opinions, like the wind, can change. Always be open to this, as the world will change around you every single day. Be ready to dance to her evolving music. Life may be a foxtrot one day, and a tango the next. Don’t be stuck in a place, or perspective, that no longer serves you.
3. Everything isn’t your responsibility. But be responsible for every action you take. Don’t take the world on your shoulders, as it isn’t your load to bear alone. Sometimes it is OK to ask for help, and it certainly is OK to say “No”. You are not responsible for anyone else’s happiness, but you are always responsible for how you handle their heart, in the process of the pursuit of your own freedom. Be kind to everyone.
4. The best things in life are free. From the moment you open your tiny eyes, we will be bombarding you with marketing campaigns to make you ‘want’. Society will demand that you ‘crave’, and your ego will demand that you ‘have’. When the screams of advertising become too loud, step outside and sit with your old friend Mother Nature. She bears you gifts every day of unbelievable abundance: the sea, the trees, a lake, the birds. Walk the streets and watch the people. A smile may befall you from a stranger, a tune from a street musician. Talk to an old man at your local library. Lie with your head next to an animal’s chest and listen to it purr. These free things will add more value to your life, and light in your heart, than any object you will ever buy. Feast on them.
5. This too shall pass. There will be days of great joy and days of immense sadness. All will pass. Days to come may surprise you, or delight you. They may break your heart, or light it up like a sky filled with fireworks. Let these come as they will, but don’t ponder them too much before arrival, nor dwell on them too long after their departure. Today is the day you should spend most of your time in. This moment right here, that you have right now, in the palm of your hand – this is your life, treasure it. Live every single moment with everything you have. For this too shall pass.