Thursday, November 17, 2016

Character Cannot Be Developed In Ease and Quiet- Digital Art

Digital Art Self Portrait

Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet.
Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, 
ambition inspired, and success achieved.
-Helen Keller

Dear 16 year old me,

Stop stressing.  It's all going to work out fine.

Begin by honoring yourself. Speak your mind, but speak it kindly. Leave behind things and people that don't make you happy. Really, it's won't miss them in the long run. You don't think you are good enough for the best, but take it from me, you will learn to see you are worth the moon and stars. You really do deserve the best, so release anything and anyone that is not serving to fill you with joy.

You don't know it yet, but you will be entrusted by God to help raise four amazing children. If you weren't truly an amazing person, God would never bestow such a great honor upon you. All of those years you will spend learning to be a great teacher will come in handy. Your true gift is teaching and you will be able to use that gift in more ways than one as you grow older. It will be integrated into your daily life...just you wait and see.

This isn't to say you won't make mistakes along the way. You will. Lots of them. Some are bigger than others, but the good news is you will humble yourself, ask forgiveness, and continue moving forward. You will lose yourself, but when you find yourself once again, you will be stronger, more centered, and a totally different person who sees the world much differently. That is not a bad thing, trust me. You will wake up and use the difficult times you tread through to help others. We all make mistakes, my 16 year old self, but it is how you pick yourself up and move on that matter. Don't let yourself wallow in self-loathing when you make mistakes. It is part of being human. Keep God centered in your life and it will all work out in the end.

Beautiful girl, take care of yourself. You will get very sick, eventually, and you will want to give up more than once. But you see, you are strong and built of character so you won't give in. You will fight for answers when you think there are no answers. You will surprise yourself with how steadfast and determined you can be. But then again, you've always been stubborn and that is a good thing...most of the time. You will realize during this illness what truly is important in life. Let those who love you help you. Many "friends" will move on because you will be ill for a long time, but the ones who stick around are gold. Keep them close. Your family...they will amaze you with the support they give you. They will show you the true meaning of love during this time. Take it and use it to heal. Give it back to them in thanks.

Oh, and I almost your gut. God has given you a beautiful woman's intuition that is rarely wrong. As long as you are quiet and listen for the whispers of God, your instinct will not steer you wrong. If your gut is telling you no, listen. If it is telling you to go for it, listen. Trust it. Trust yourself.

Most of all, my 16 year old self, don't be so tough on yourself. You are your own worst critic and later in life this will eventually catch up with you. Don't take yourself so seriously. Have fun. Explore. Don't get tied down in the small, irrelevant stuff. Keep your head up, eyes forward, and love in your heart and you will be just fine. I love you dearly, my 16 year old self. If not for you, I wouldn't be where I am today.

With neverending love,

Your 44 year old self


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