It’s the hardest thing sometimes, to do what you feel is true to yourself. To say, to take action, to make the choice that feels right, even when those around you say it’s wrong.
But at the end of the day, you are the one who has to live with what you said, what you chose, and the consequences of both. You are the one who has to decide if you will feel at peace or be overwhelmed with regret.
Whatever words ring honest and pure to your soul, say them.
Whatever actions you take next, they should feel right, sometimes scary, but right for you at their core. Don’t step forward, backward, left, or right at the whim or influence of another. Find your own path and hike it with passion.
Whatever job you enjoy, do it. Who cares what your career looks like if you’re happy and can build the life you want.
When in love, say what you feel when you feel it. Don’t be afraid to speak your heart, good or bad, because real love is born of authenticity, honesty, and open communication.
When you are hurting, grieving, or struggling, do not let the advice of others dictate how you heal. If you need months, if you need years, take them. If you need to write it all out, run away for a week to the mountains, or escape, do it. If you need to cry, do it.
When you wrong someone, how you apologize and seek forgiveness must be unique.
When you aren’t sure if you can gain forgiveness, be willing to say everything you feel you must with the complete knowledge that once the words are said, there is the chance you’ve written either “The End” or the chapter for a new beginning.
Whatever hobbies you enjoy, do them without shame.
Whatever standards you have for friendships and for love, hold fast to them. Do not let others coerce or convince you to compromise on them, even if it means you lose some people over time and spend years and years single. It’s better to be authentically you than to be superficially acceptable.
When you feel at a crossroads, don’t look to others for which route to take. Decide in the way that feels right for you, whether it’s leaping into the unknown, trying each and then choosing, or some other process.
When it comes to the people you want in your life, decide for yourself why and how you want them there. Let nobody tell you one person is worth less or more than another. Whatever your family and friends look like, make it your own.
When the time comes to fight, fight with your heart and soul so that when the battle (or battles) end, you can walk away – victorious or defeated – knowing you gave it everything you had.
When you are faced with the terrifying moment of having to choose last words or silence, do not weigh the beliefs or judgments of others. Do not weigh the reactions of the person you plan to speak to either, for last words should only come at the moment when you know you have to lay it all on the table and be prepared to either say goodbye or be said goodbye too. Last words are for you, not for anyone else, and when you’ve said them, you should feel only relief and comfort. You should feel freedom. You should feel a weight lifted from your soul, from your shoulders, a shadow departed from your mind. When you speak the last words, you are leaving the final piece of you there without regret.
So every morning, wake up and start your day in the way that makes your heart feel alive, your brain buzz with excitement, and your body thrum with energy.
Every evening, find peace and contentment in the way that helps your body relax, your mind empty, and your soul sleep silently.
Every second of every day, choose to show the world the authentic you.
Every chance you get, speak your truth.
Every person you meet, open yourself to them willingly.
Every time your heart sings, share it — wear your happiness aloud.
You will be regaled and judged. You will be applauded and booed. You will be loved and forgotten. You will be beautiful and ugly.
You will be uniquely spectacular and mundanely monotonous.
You will be all of these things and more to the outside world, but to you, you should always, forevermore, every day, simply be YOU.