I recently addressed our four graduating high school seniors as a part of our regular Sunday service here at Unity. We as a congregation wanted to celebrate them and this important milestone. I must admit that at this point in my life it is difficult to remember exactly what was going on inside of me as I left the relative safety of school and set off on the journey of adulthood. It felt very important to me to be able to communicate to these youth in a way that would perhaps contribute to the trajectory that is lying before them. I felt totally humbled and yet intensely passionate. What could I say?
I decided to approach the message from the vantage point of what the current me would say to my own eighteen year old. From what I remember of my own young man, what wisdom could he have used that I now perhaps possess? What pitfalls could I potentially guide these youth around from the perspective of one who had fallen into them?
It was a rich and rewarding internal exercise for me for sure. I am so grateful to these youth for invoking so much love in me that I spent considerable time and energy in exploring within myself for what I might then say to them. I came up with a list of seven things to share with our youth that I now want to share with you blog readers. I do so not from a place of thinking these are things you do not know. I do so with a desire that it might evoke a similar process within you.
So, what would you say to your eighteen year old from where you are now?
Here is what I shared:
* Life Loves you! Life is for you!
* Worthiness is Essential and Intrinsic. It is independent of what you do.
* Loosen your grip on how you think life will turn out. It won’t. And that’s perfect.
* Don’t let dreams, goals, and aspirations ruin your life.
* Choose connection over protection, presence over pretense.
*Have the courage to be real, authentic, and vulnerable.
* Always and in all ways lead in life with a YES!
For the sake of brevity I will not elaborate on these points. I simply offer them to you as I did with our precious youth: with love and with a deep knowing that Life is always seeking the very highest for us. It always has been. We will all be offered curve balls and unexpected falls. We will also experience love and majesty beyond our wildest dreams.
Relax! Maybe that is what I would speak most of to my eighteen year old. Relax, Taylor. Let it be. Give it a rest. Cooperate. This One Life of which you are a part has your back and is your heart. Relax and let yourself be lived and loved.
I am not at all sure the graduates heard me. But I did. I am spending these days basking in my own intuited wisdom. What is good for the eighteen year old is even better for the man I am now.