I have two wonderful children, and an awesome son-in-law to be, all of them now adults. And I sometimes wonder if I have equipped them well enough for this turbulent world we live in. Have I taught them all I should have? Have I loved them enough? Have I helped mould them into happy, productive human beings? Is there anything else I could have done to make their journey through life easier? Do I still have advice for my children?
So Daniel, Rachel and Ross – this is what I want you to know:
You are good enough. A whole lot of people are scared of doing things because they are afraid that they are not good enough, afraid they will fail, afraid to try. Know this: you ARE good enough, just as you are. Don’t change to fit into society’s’ expectations, don’t seek the approval of others, don’t worry about the opinion of others. Be yourself. Because, believe me, you are amazing!
You do not need anyone else to validate you. You don’t need a boyfriend/girlfriend to tell you that you are a loveable person. You don’t need a boss to tell you that you are good at your job. You don’t need your friends’ approval. A life filled with friends and family is blessed, but know who you are and that you are awesome.
You all have the gift of compassion, hold onto it. When we are young we look at life with selfish eyes, we want what we want and we want it now! Compassion allows us to realise that we are no more important than anyone else, and the world does not revolve around us. Look beyond yourself, beyond your life and seek out the people in pain. Removing even a tiny part of their suffering will enrich your life beyond measure.
Everything you need to make you happy is within you. Do not seek happiness in alcohol, shopping or food. The tools you need to build a happy life are right inside you: the ability to create, the ability to do something meaningful, compassion, thoughtfulness, gratitude, love – these attributes make up the rich soil on which happiness grows.
Don’t let anyone ever tell you that university is the only way to get on in life. Some of the most successful people I know didn’t even make it to college. The school system is excellent at producing cogs – you all have the potential to be the engine!
Having said that, never be afraid to ask for, or think that you don’t need help. We ALL need help from time-to-time. We are all learning, and the world is full of teachers. Soak up the knowledge around you, and give it as freely as you take it.
The worries in life that stress you out now really won’t matter in the longterm. Look at the bigger picture: will this thing that is filling your life with stress matter in five years? Two years? A month? Most of the time, the answer is a firm no.
Try to accept change. Change is the only constant in life, and you will only suffer if you try to keep life on an even keel ALL the time. Learn to let go of things, learn to be flexible. Don’t get stuck in a rut, change is inevitable so embrace it and move forward in life.
Your path in life is not set in stone, you have the ability to change direction. Don’t worry about sticking to the path, take as many twists and turns as you like. I’ve had many adventure by meandering off the ‘right’ track.
Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. We all mess up, it’s how we handle these messes that make us the people we are. Learn from your mistakes, and don’t let them waiver your confidence in your own amazingness.
Sometimes become the spoon not the cup. It’s OK to stir life up now and again. Be adventurous, book a trip, sleep under the stars, learn something new just ‘because’, talk to a stranger, be silly, laugh, play and be creative. We all need the cup; it’s safe, solid and holds the contents of our lives, but it’s the spoon that gets to twirl!
Savour every, single minute of this glorious life. Learn to love the little things that make up each day: the sun on your face, the music on the radio, time with friends and family, the brightness of the stars. Soak up the wonders that surround you, and learn to appreciate every tiny moment.
Open your heart and let love be your number one rule. Life is truly awesome if you don’t close your heart to it. An open heart will experience wounds, but only with an open heart will you truly experience the best that this life has to offer
And know this my loves: no matter where you are and what you do, I will love you with every fibre of my being and I am so very proud to be your mum.