20 things I would tell my 25-year old self about love and life

At 25, I had just moved to New York with a broken heart, no direction, and low self-worth. I had felt my world was turned upside down. I had no idea what was going to happen next because all I could focus on was the pain in my heart.

I was angry, sad and disappointed in life for the way things had happened.

Fifteen years later, if I could go back to my younger self, sit down with her over champagne and share some words of wisdom, here’s what I’d tell her:

1. No one is responsible for the experience of your life.

Firstly, no one is responsible for any kind of abuse. Having said that, when you’ve endured from a bad relationship, in a job you hate, or situation, whatever has happened or is happening is your responsibility. This is not to blame you or make you feel like crap. This is to help you realize that you do have a choice. Don’t convince yourself that you are doing something against your will. Be honest with yourself. You have alternatives available to you. So choose the outcome you most prefer. That is what it means to be in your power.

2. Stop obsessing over your body, and how you look.

If you’re relying entirely on how you look to feel better about yourself, your self-esteem is going to be a rollercoaster for the rest of your life. Your body is more than looking good; it’s a vehicle for your spirit & life purpose. Enjoy in moderation. The right guy doesn’t care about your weight. What he finds attractive is how much you care and respect yourself, the beauty of your mind, how confident you are in your skin, and how much fun you are.

3. Have the time of your life.

Life is going by. Allow yourself to experience everything that brings your heart joy. Stop fantasizing about the past and stop stressing over the future. Be present in this moment. Take yourself on dates; go to the movies on your own; eat the macaroons on a Monday; swim naked; buy yourself flowers; dance and drink wine under the stars in Tuscany with your girlfriends. Before you know it, you’ll look back on your memories & wish you didn’t stress over the things you did because they no longer matter.

4. Turn your breakups into breakthroughs.

On the road to finding the right one, you will have your heart broken and/or you’ll be the heartbreaker. Even though it’s painful, this breakup will happen to make you stronger and give you the opportunity to learn and grow. Sometimes the relationships you get involved in are just not right for you. As much as it hurts, you have to let them go. Do the work to heal from relationship wounds so you can open your heart again to experience more love than ever before.

5. Learn to love yourself.

The love that you are truly yearning for is really the love for thy divine self. Find out who you are; what you like; what you don’t like; how you want to live your life; what your values are; what you won’t settle for. Discover what you love about yourself. Make a vow to yourself that you will always stay true to who you are – not who a man wants you to be.

6. Not all relationships last.

There is a misconception that all relationships last a lifetime. Not all of them. Some are there for seasons & for good reasons. Every person that walks into your life is there to teach you something. We attract relationships based on where we’re at in our life. So, understand what they came to teach you. It will serve your next relationship.

7. Be open to how you think your ‘soulmate’ should look like.

There is not ‘one’ soulmate out there for you. With the right foundational ingredients, you can CREATE a soulmate relationship. You could miss out on a special person because he didn’t match your ‘list.’ Be a bit more open to how he looks and get clear on how you want him to make you FEEL. Don’t shoot the bullet too soon, 99% of women do not recognize their ‘soulmate’ on the first date. Keep dating the man that you might not have the big fireworks at first, but who has all the qualities your heart desires. Sometimes love does not knock us off our feet at first sight, sometimes love takes time to reveal itself and grows over time. Give this person an opportunity.

8. When you’re single and dating, stop wasting time on the guy who doesn’t value you.

If a guy is into you he won’t play games and will only want to be with you. Just because you have the heart flutter with him, it doesn’t mean he’s the one for you. Don’t be that woman who passes up many great men because you didn’t have that instant spark with them. Don’t waste your time on someone who clearly doesn’t value you. And if you believe that you can stay friends and prove to him how amazing you are and when he’s ready for a commitment then he’ll choose you, think again. He will not be choosing you for the right reasons, he will choose you by default. Be prepared to get hurt. He’s not the only fish in the sea.

9. Travel as much as you can and live in different cities, but also have a plan.

Don’t get so caught up in ‘finding the one’ that you miss out on opportunities. Travelling can help you get stronger, wiser and discover parts of yourself you never knew. Don’t feel pressured to settle down at 25, however, don’t be so carefree that you have no direction in life. Cultivate your career & make a plan. You need to have an idea of where you would like to be in the next 5 years. At the same time, don’t be too attached to the plan. Sometimes plans don’t work out the way you expected.

10. No one else knows what is best for you but you.

There is nothing wrong with listening to your friends and family for advice, but ultimately you are the one that knows what is best for you. They are giving you advice based on their experiences, fears, and perceptions about life. If you want to seek advice, sometimes it’s best to seek professional support from someone who is not emotionally attached to you. You have free will to choose what you want to do in your life, and ultimately what you choose will be based on the lessons your soul needs to learn.

11. Know your worth.

No person has the power to complete you. You are already complete. Don’t settle. But don’t look for perfection either. Go for that career that will highlight your natural skills & abilities. Go for that life you daydream about. You have what it takes. You are brave and courageous. Don’t shrink to fit. Don’t listen to the naysayers. Know that your worth is not determined by how you look or what possessions you have but rather by peaceful relationships and your emotional well-being.

12. It’s easy to fall down the rabbit hole, so have an optimistic outlook on life to help you deal with crappy days.

You’ll always experience challenges in life, and they don’t disappear. Learn to reframe your challenges to empower you and you’ll be fine forever. True freedom comes from how you respond to life and not what life does to you. Create a happiness toolbox where you can turn to on the days you are not feeling so great about yourself. Having tips and tools along your journey will equip you to deal with the storms, and then let them move on. 

13. Earn your own money and learn how to make it work for you.

Don’t rely on ANYONE to save you financially. Be independent and educate yourself about money and how to handle it. Sometimes plans don’t work out, so have a secret stash because you never know when you’re going to need the extra moula. Becoming financially independent empowers you to choose the life you desire. Clear your money beliefs and blocks and work smarter not harder. Save.

14. Relationships are beautiful, but also difficult and filled with ups and downs.

Sometimes what you’re looking for is right there infront of you. Be realistic about what you want in a relationship. There is no such thing as a perfect relationship. You have to invest in your relationship. You can’t expect your relationship to be the way you want it to be if you only withdraw and don’t invest in the love bank. You and your partner both need to ‘work on your own stuff’ and commit to the relationship to ensure success. Don’t give up on the relationship if there is still some love and respect in the basket.

15. Happily ever after.

There is no one out there who completes you. You are already complete. Let go of the prince in shining armour fantasy, he’s not coming to save you. Work on being happy, fulfilled, content, and free – and you won’t need saving.

16. Your intuition, aka your gut instincts, is always spot on.

Your gut instinct is like your personal built-in Divine radar – never lets you down. Stop second guessing yourself. If your heart is calling out to you to make a life change, follow it with faith. Learn how to listen to your inner voice and not ignore “red flags” when they arrive.

17. Learn to make your mind your best friend, it will serve you tremendously.

There is plenty of research to show that your beliefs, thoughts, and emotions can either have a positive or a negative effect on your body. So your beliefs become your body which then affects the body’s physical functioning. For example; what happens when you believe that there are no good men (or women) out there to marry? You will not find a good man (or woman) to marry. What your mind believes, perceives and experiences is sent to your entire body, and as a result, your physical wellness is a response to your thoughts and emotions, and your behavior supports your current belief system.

18. Happiness is not found where you’re currently looking.

No one is responsible for your happiness but you. However, don’t rely on your list of expectations about life or love to make you happy because if they don’t come true, you will become miserable. Cultivate happiness on the simple things in life…like God, coffee & pretty pink anything! You have everything you need inside of you. You will not always be happy and that’s okay, it’s part of being human (and a hormonal woman). However, you do have the choice what to tolerate and what to let go of.

19. You’re good enough and beautiful, just the way you are.

Don’t allow the media, your ex, or anyone else to manipulate you to think otherwise. Beauty comes in many forms – and there is no unique form more beautiful than you. Just exactly as you are, this moment, without changing a thing – you are beautiful. Don’t believe it? Your Spirit knows the truth.

20. You are lovable, and it’s safe for you to be loved and to love.

You are not destined to be alone. You are not broken or beyond repair. You come from love and therefore you are loveable. You deserve love notes every day. You deserve romantic dinners. You deserve weekly flowers. You deserve to know you are loved. You deserve to be treated sweetly. You deserve to know you’re enough. You deserve to be the queen of your life. You deserve all this and more. You deserve these things to be given to you and most importantly by YOU.

After all, life was meant to be fun. It’s hard to believe sometimes, but it’s all about perception. Even though life is filled with lessons, pain, and beauty, the key is to embrace the “low’s” with the “highs.” And as long as we’re living, there is still more learning – doing the best we can to infuse gratitude into our everyday life. Therein will we find both peace and joy regardless of what is going on in our life.

What would you share with your 25-year-old self? Comment below, I would love to know!

Love,
Irene