25 Things I Wish I Knew 25 Years Ago

I was watching a Sci-Fi show on Netflix with my husband last night, and it came to a point where the Time Travelers realized they would become stuck in the past in the bodies they inhabited. One character was an older man, and he found himself stuck inside the body of a teenager. I said to my husband, “I wouldn’t mind having the knowledge I have now back when I was a teen!” And he agreed.

I haven’t learned everything God has in store for me to learn, but in the past decade alone I’m amazed at the changes He’s brought in my thinking. My husband mentioned to me last night that I wouldn’t be the person I am today had I not made the mistakes I made then, and though I concurred it doesn’t mean I’m not mildly regretful of the past. It certainly would have saved me some heartache. If I could write a blog to my past self it might sound something like this.

Here’s 25 things I wish I knew 25 years ago.

  1. You aren’t who hurt you, but you can be stronger despite it.
  2. You aren’t the pain inflicted by others, but you can still heal.
  3. You’re not the way you were raised, but you can choose to raise your children differently.
  4. You’re not your addictions, and you can overcome them.
  5. You’re not who loves you, or even who doesn’t love you. Your worth isn’t based on earthly love.
  6. You can’t buy love, earn it, or use it. It’s freely given by God.
  7. Craving affection is a byproduct of past rejection. But no man will ever fill the hole inside your heart. Only God can do that.
  8. Respect your body. It’s valuable. Clothe it like it is.
  9. Don’t let anyone’s opinion shape your perception of yourself.
  10. Make a mistake? It’s done. Learn from it, move on, don’t dwell. We’re not meant to  dwell on our missteps.
  11. No substance can fix your problem, be it chemical, alcoholic, or even a tub of ice cream. When you wake up the next day your problem will still be there.
  12. The only limits you have are those you put on yourself. If you believe you can’t then you won’t.
  13. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t succeed at something you really want to do.
  14. Don’t believe that just because something has been a certain way your whole life that it has to stay that way. Be the change.
  15. Your upbringing, family name, or geographical location doesn’t equate to what you’ll be. Chains were made to be broken.
  16. It’s not your fault. The bad stuff that’s happened in your life? Don’t waste time trying to place blame on yourself. Instead find healing and move forward.
  17. Don’t allow your friends or relationships to change you. Stay true to your personality, not that of those you surround yourself with.
  18. Don’t focus on the bad/sad things. Look closely for the good/happy things, and focus on that.
  19. Look around and realize that someone has it worse than you, and that you have it better than many. Practice gratitude.
  20. Realize the impact your words have. Choose them wisely.
  21. Don’t strive to be a people pleaser. Be a God pleaser. If all is well with your soul then you’re headed in the right direction.
  22. Put yourself in someone else’s shoes before speaking.
  23. Don’t spend so much time seeking the compliments of others. They don’t make or break you.
  24. Integrity matters.
  25. Don’t sweat the small stuff. And in the grand scheme of eternal thinking, most of it is small stuff.

This article originally appeared at BrieGowen.com.

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Brie Gowen
Brie is a thirty-something (sliding ever closer to forty-something) wife and mother. When she’s not loving on her hubby, chasing after the toddler, or playing princess with her four year old she enjoys cooking, reading, and writing down her thoughts to share with others. Brie is also a huge lover of Jesus. She finds immense joy in the peace a relationship with her Savior provides, and she might just tell you about it sometime. She'd love for you to check out her blog at BrieGowen.com.