It’s All Good

Posted | 8 comments

It’s All Good
Dorothy: Oh, will you help me? Can you help me?
Glinda: You don’t need to be helped any longer. You’ve always had the power to go back to Kansas.
Dorothy: I have?
Scarecrow: Then why didn’t you tell her before? 
Glinda: Because she wouldn’t have believed me. She had to learn it for herself.

Recently, I heard the following question, “What would you tell your 14-year-old self?” Of course, I immediately answered with some platitude or another. I don’t remember exactly what popped in my head first, but it was along the lines of “be true to yourself” or “follow your dreams” or some such other lame rot. 

The question; however, got under my skin, and over the next couple of days I found myself turning it over and over again in my mind. Really, if I had the chance, what would I tell the 14-year-old me? What could I say to my young self that would actually make a difference in the trajectory of my life?

For a very long time, I felt like I was lost deep in the woods. The young me had a plan and that plan did not come to fruition. So, for years I’ve fussed and fretted and endlessly worried that I missed some big opportunity. I’ve mourned those adventures that I coveted as a youth that were lost. I’ve burned way too much daylight trying to figure out what I was suppose to do and where I was suppose to be. I’ve continued to circle the drain, as recently as this year (proof is in earlier blog posts if you can stomach the drama) trying to find my passion. Oh, and under my smile and and all the busy, I was stressed and sad because I just didn’t know.   

But here’s the thing, when I started really letting go, when I started to really change my mind, when I started to really truly embrace this life which I’ve been gifted, I realized something. First, I realized that there wasn’t one single amazing moment in my past that I was willing to give up. Second, I had to admit that every trial, every tribulation, every smack down, and every heartbreak had carefully sculpted me into the person I am today. Third, I accepted myself. I acknowledge that I was alright and began to express unrelenting gratitude for every single person and thing that is in or has been in my life, even the icky ones. Oh, and I sent them all love. 

The more I let go of expectations and leaned into the moment good or bad, the more willing I became to play the hand I was dealt, and the more I trusted that I could handle / would handle every single thing that occurred during my day, the more joy-filled my life became. As I carefully turnover the events of my past, I realize that every single second was integral to where I sit now. Every torrid, tear-filled episode led to an epiphany and every epiphany got me a little closer to the wooded path. 

Listen, I know that as long as I live and breathe I will have to deal with unpleasant “stuff.” I know I will have the wind knocked out of my sails time and time again. I know I will handle it because like the Sufi poets of Persia wrote, “this too shall pass.”

So, I would simply tell the 14-year-old me to just chill out because wherever you are and whatever you are doing is exactly where you’re suppose to be and exactly what you’re suppose to be doing. Deep in the woods or happily trudging on the path? It’s all good. Great or awful it won’t last forever. Have fun, love hard, and laugh a lot. 


  1. Another post full of wisdom and so much heart. I feel exactly the same way about my life. Sometimes a smidgen of regret sneaks in and I acknowledge it with a little love tap but I am so grateful to be on the other side of all those growing pains. I would tell my 14-year old self: Eat, Play, Sleep.

    • Play! very good advice for the 14 year old me (eating well has never been an issue).

  2. As always, I love your blog and feel inspired by all you’ve learned and how positive your messages always are. 🙂

    • The peaks only come when you climb out of the valley but the vallies make the view oh, so much sweeter.

  3. Denise, I don’t have any advice for my younger self (other than your excellent summary: it’s all good), but when I think of the “woulda/coulda/shoulda’s” I’ve imposed on myself as an adult (and the time I’ve wasted fretting over them), I have to laugh. Sometimes it’s like being 14 all over again, all wide-eyed and wondering. Thanks for the nudge to live, DO, and be grateful. Wonderful post!

  4. Denise
    Were you in my head today? I was thinking this thought: how as a teenager I thought I had it together, but actually I was kind of lost and drifting and waiting to be “grown up” and get out of dodge. I noticed how life just seems like life, not like preparation for life. And the anxiety of who I am becoming and what I am doing and what I am here for seems to have subsided. I now know. I am here. I am doing the work, the rest will unfold. I just want to say AMEN to this post! thank you!

  5. Another beautiful post from you. My 14-year-old still live in me, she’s the insecure, impatient part of me, who is afraid that she’ll be missing out on life. Luckily, I’m 33 today and I know better – but sometimes a little reminder is needed for my younger self: You are exactly where you need to be and you are enough. Thank you for giving me an opportunity to remind her today.

  6. I love this entry, Denise! I can totally relate. What a great question you have posed…worthy of contemplation. Thank you for getting the wheels turning in my own head.

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