When it comes to teaching our children a valuable lesson for a happier life, wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could simply tell them, and that would be enough? Alas, that’s not realistic – it’s not until much later after we’ve made the same mistakes as our parents that we’re able to appreciate the wisdom they tried in vain to bless us with! So the best we can hope for is that some of our experiences will prevent them from repeating history.
Below I’ve listed some of the life lessons I’ve picked up (so far) that have helped me to let go of a lot of the negativity I used to carry around, and embrace a more positive outlook instead. I’d love nothing more than to pass these onto my girls, to spare them the heartache of learning for themselves the hard way. I hope they help you too.
To my wonderful girls,
I want to share some irrefutable truths (according to my personal values) which I hope will guide you. I know you’ll follow your own path, but I hope in reading these, you may benefit a little from the legacy of my life lessons. As your dad is fond of saying:
A wise man learns from his own mistakes; a genius learns from the mistakes of others.
Life Lessons to Help You Be More Positive
- I love you. Your dad loves you. Your sister does too. Nothing will change this, ever.
- You are beautiful, inside and out.
- Sometimes the people we love hurt us. Usually they should be forgiven.
- Repeat offenders are not excusable: sometimes the right thing to do is forgive them too – and then walk away.
- Always remember that forgiveness equals freedom from your own pain…
- And holding on to anger or hatred equals bitterness.
- We are all fighting our own battles. Not everyone talks about their personal anguish, but everybody has it in some form or other.
- What others think of you is their business, not yours. If you can live with yourself, you don’t need anybody else’s approval.
- Healthy relationships, of all kinds, build you up. They do not tear you down.
- Being alone is preferable to being miserable: loneliness in company is the worst kind.
- Your instincts are rarely wrong; trust them.
- Pursue your dreams.
- Don’t take the first half-decent job that comes your way – unless it’s a stepping stone to where you want to get to. Better to take a worse job now if it puts your aspirations within reach.
- Don’t shy away from hard work, nothing worth having is easy to come by.
- Don’t get into debt, other than with a mortgage.
- Don’t reject potential partners on account of your checklist. I’d never have married your dad if I’d not overlooked the fact he was younger than me!
- Any man (or woman!) worth having will make you feel like a princess.
- I hope you never experience the dark places I’ve been to, but if you do, keep in mind this maxim:
This too shall pass.
- Never leave a job without having another one to go to. Unless it’s making you ill, in which case leave immediately.
- Don’t feel afraid to confront a bad situation. But only do so if the objective is to correct the issue.
- Don’t be too proud to admit when you are wrong. And say ‘sorry’ instead of ‘I apologise’.
- There is a difference between being two-faced and maintaining polite cordiality. Sometimes, as a mature adult, the latter is appropriate and necessary.
- Bullies grow up and become reasonable, nice people…sometimes. Equally often that is not the case.
- Those who never ask for help are often the ones who need it most.
- Friendships ebb and flow. Sometimes you’ll outgrow each other, and that’s okay. Mourn those friendships and embrace new ones.
- Be open to learning new things, meeting new people and changing your mind.
- Try not to be too rigid in your ideas – it’s inevitable that as you grow your values will evolve. Leave yourself room to form new opinions. And in discussions, be gracious and make it easy for others to do the same.
- Pain and hurt make for empathetic souls.
- …But personal tragedies are not a prerequisite for compassion.
- Try always to find the silver lining; positive people are much happier – and far nicer to be around.
A Valuable Lesson For a Happier Life
I can’t force you to heed my mistakes; but I hope even one or two of these will help you avoid some of the heartache I had to endure to learn these the hard way.
With so much love from your devoted mother xxxx