Dear James in 2050,
I kind of hope you are not alive in 2050 but I’m going to write to you anyway. If you read this I hope you have already done what I am going to suggest here.
I hope you forgive yourself for not always being there when your kids were growing up. You were working hard (I know, not an excuse, but still) and you weren’t always happy and didn’t know how to deal with it. And your kids are so far turning out great. I hope.
I hope you forgive yourself that you lost a lot of money at various points. Imagine what a jerk you would’ve been if you had just gone from “success to success”. When you lost that money it taught you about shame and imperfection and how to get over it. I hope you never lost that feeling of blissful imperfection. Life is a fractal and not a straight edge.
I hope you have forgiven yourself for your relationships with almost all of your family members. Sometimes the family you grow up with is not always the family you end up with.
If you are alive in 2050 it probably means you are relaxed inside your body. Check for me for a second. Do you feel relaxed in your body – in your stomach, your head, your heart? That relaxation ripples out to the outside body and to outer health. If family or friends or ambitions are making you upset then your inner body won’t be relaxed.
Forgive yourself for the people you didn’t call back that you wanted to. One day goes by, then two, then you feel bad, then you say, “I will call them tomorrow,” and then you don’t and then years later you feel bad. You don’t need to do that. They are good people and so are you. I don’t know the answer. It’s too bad you didn’t call them. But life goes on and it’s good you loved them enough to care.
Forgive yourself for all the things you tried to force happen. Sometimes you can’t force things. You can’t force the girl to like you, the job to hire you, the deal to go through. You can watch the sun set every day though. And eat food that digests easily.
Finally, forgive yourself for all the other people you disappointed. Maybe also they had too high expectations of you. You had a hard enough time lowering your own expectations for yourself, so you ended up forcing everyone else to lower theirs. Ok. It’s over now. They moved on. If they are gone, maybe they didn’t love you in the first place.
I don’t know, there’s not much else I hope you forgive yourself on. I hope you are still doing what you set out to do in 2010:
Physical – eat well, sleep well, don’t drink, exercise, be hygienic. You tend to get caught up in your head. Never forget the body. If you can’t be healthy you won’t be happy.
Emotional – only engage with people who support and love you and who you genuinely like. NOBODY else. Why spend one second on someone who causes stress on your inner body. You are what you eat (food, people, thoughts, environment).
Mental – be creative every day. Come up with ideas every day. I hope you still do that special trick: where you make one list of ideas, then another list of completely different ideas in a different topic, and then combine them. It still works for me!
Spiritual – Do you still do this every day, every moment when you can: I hope you are grateful for what you have. I hope you still look for abundance in the things around you, even when things appear to be lacking. I hope you still take a step back and figure out if your thoughts are happy or sad. I hope you surrender still.
Surrender to who?