Advice to younger self

Published 2:45 pm Sunday, September 10, 2017

God blesses me to talk to people all over the world. Sometimes they share their struggles with me and our hearts are instantly connected by pain or circumstances. During these times, I want to say something to help them in some way. Usually, I travel back in time and think, what would I say to my younger self. What did I need to hear when I was going through a similar struggle?

When I can answer from a place of love and understanding, then I can connect on a deeper level. The situations may not always be the same, but the pain is exactly the same. We’ve all had those moments of fear, uncertainty, loss, grief, heartache, and unworthiness. While I’ve experienced all of these emotions frequently, I’ve also had the amazing feeling of defying the odds and overcoming them all. That’s what I want to share with the world.

If I could somehow speak to my younger self, this is what I would say….

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Be kind to everyone you meet—especially yourself. Everyone is fighting some type of battle. Laugh every chance that you get. Allow your light to shine out into the world. Smile. When you smile from love and compassion and wish others well, they get a little glimpse of your soul. And that is what they will remember about you.

The love and acceptance that you so desperately seek from others are inside of you. You hold the power. When you love and accept yourself, exactly as you are, then your scars and imperfections will never have the power to hurt you again. It really doesn’t matter what other people think of you, what do you think of yourself? Acceptance is a process. Give yourself some grace while you go through the process.

This too shall pass. Whenever you are going through a challenge, just know that it won’t last forever. Every trial is happening for you and not to you. Our trials strengthen us and help us to grow into the person that God created us all to be.

Be authentic. God created you exactly as you were meant to be. He didn’t make any mistakes. Embrace your life and become the person God created you to be. He didn’t intend for you to be like anyone else, nor to be influenced by the world. We all have unique gifts to offer the world.

You could have died, but God spared you for a reason. You are alive to love and be loved. When you open your eyes every morning, thank Him for the glorious gift of another day. Every day is a precious gift, and we should treat it that way.

Every day strive to be the best person that you can be. Relax and know that you don’t have to have it all figured out. The Lord is your Shepherd. Seek Him and His guidance and He will help you.

Don’t compare yourself to others. No one is better than anyone else. We all have flaws, fears, insecurities, negative thoughts, and heartaches. God didn’t create us to be perfect. Our flesh has imperfections and sin. That is why we need Him. He is our Savior, and He is in our hearts.

The ones who treat us the worst in life need our love and kindness the most. We need to recognize the hurt in them and react with love. While we can’t control how anyone treats us, we can decide how we will treat them. A smile and a prayer can change someone’s life.

Pray more and worry less. God is always in control. When you feel overwhelmed pray and study the scriptures. The most important relationship that you will ever have in life is one you have with God. The closer we get to Him, the more we love others and ourselves.

You can’t even imagine how God is going to bless your life. Follow Him, beyond your comfort zone and into deeper waters. One day it will all make perfect sense until then, trust the Lord with all your heart.

Candida Sullivan is an author and inspirational speaker. She lives in New Tazewell with her husband and kids. For more information about her books or to schedule her for your event, email her at