“Be soft even if that makes you more likely to get hurt.”

Pain makes it easy to justify guarding your heart. “Once bitten, twice shy” is the saying, and there is a lot of truth to it. Resist the urge to be hard. Be soft. Be gentle. Be loving and compassionate. A guarded heart can still be wounded, and even the hardest heart can break. A soft heart may be more likely to be hurt by others, but loneliness, suspicion and cynicism can eat away at a heart that is kept locked up.

Continue to reach out to others, even when you have been hurt in the past. A hard heart might never be hurt, but a gentle one can heal both itself and others of past hurts. Even when it is scary, continue to love and find the best in people. You will never be able to avoid all harm, so learn to live and love despite it rather than hiding yourself away in a futile attempt to avoid pain. Learn to dance in the rain rather than hating the storm. The storms will still come. It is up to you how you handle them.

“Enjoy every moment and make memories of everything.”

No one is guaranteed another moment on this Earth, so make the most of everything you do. Do not live by default or on autopilot. Make each moment in your life matter. You never know if you will get another one or not. You also never know if you will be able to enjoy the same experiences again. You might not be able to walk tomorrow, so enjoy the feeling of sand under your feet as you run down the beach. You could wake up blind one day, so sear the stunning colors of the sunset into your memory. Those you love could be taken from you, so do not waste a second you could spend with them. No one can know for sure when their time on this Earth is done, so make the most of the present. It is the only time you are guaranteed.

Writing a letter to your younger self can clarify the statements you want to continue to live by and help you keep your children, grandchildren, little siblings or mentees from make the same mistakes you did. It can grant powerful catharsis now and help you begin healing from any old wounds. So, get out a piece of paper and walk down memory lane. Think, decide and then begin to write. What will your letter say?