Seek to understand, for with understanding comes acceptance, peace, and – in many instances – love. We cannot hate what we understand.
Remove the ego. Everyone you meet, every person who makes you smile, dance, cringe, swear, and scream, each one is simply trying to get through the day the best way she knows how. Each is striving to become the person he wants to be. Each is working to live the life she wants to live. Whatever pain anyone in your life may cause you, remember this: It isn’t personal. It is simply a product of that person moving through his life in the best way he can right now.
Forgive easily. Even if the other person doesn’t ask for it, want it, or accept that forgiveness may be needed. (This extends to your past selves as well.) Forgive for others, but most importantly forgive for yourself. Anger, resentment, distrust, jealously – these are all negative emotions that hurt only the person carrying them. Do not let that person be you.
Embrace boundaries – your own and others’. Boundaries are what keep us healthy and engaged with each other. They ensure we invest enough in ourselves to have plenty left over to invest in the people we choose. They help guide us in reserving our energies for people and projects that reward, inspire, and encourage us. They keep romantic relationships alive by helping each partner retain his or her individuality – that spark of self that attracted their mates in the first place.
Be who you are. We are all flawed; this is part of our brilliance. Love your flaws. You are the only you that has ever been, the only you that ever will be. You have unique gifts to offer the people you meet and the world in which you live, and these gifts are inherently tied to your individual perspective.
Regret nothing. Each moment of your life – each choice you have made and experience you have encountered – has shaped you into the person you are, right now. If you don’t like where you are or who you are, work on loving yourself harder and creating the version of yourself and life you want. If you’re happy, be grateful and know that everything in your life happened exactly as it was meant to happen.
Pay attention to how things make you feel. At its essence, life is a subjective experience. It doesn’t matter what you have, who you’re with, what you look like, how much money you make, or what you do for a living, if you’re not getting positive emotions from those things, people, and events.
Recognize that time is your most precious commodity. None of us knows how many years, months, days, hours, or minutes we get. Make the most of each one. At the end of your life, if you’re granted a final moment to say good-bye, it will be time – not money, status, fame, or belongings – that you’ll appreciate most. Do the things that bring you joy now.