1. Believe in your feelings. If you don’t think your own feelings are valid, why should other people?
2. Speak your truth, if only to yourself. Honesty begins at home; don’t hide knowledge from yourself. When you do this, you lose self-respect and self-esteem.
3. Make the most of a sunny day if you wish, but when it’s cold or cloudy, feel free to hide under a blanket. Nature governs the seasons of our lives just as it governs the weather. Go with your personal “flow” whenever you can.
4. Choose your battles. Whether it’s a trip to the gym or a conflict with a loved one, decide what’s important to you ahead of time, and fight for it. Let go of the ones your heart’s not in.
5. Cut yourself some slack. The harder you push, the more you resist. Practice allowing yourself to be less than you could be on any given day. This small kindness will give you the strength to rally tomorrow.
6. Embrace and accept your sexuality, whatever it looks like. When it comes to sex, there’s no such thing as “normal.” As long as it doesn’t involve children or hurt anyone, and you’re happy and your behavior is legal in most states, you’re good. If sex is troublesome for you, consider seeing a sex therapist (in Portland I recommend sexologist Dr. Sheila Silver).
7. Never question your basic goodness. Question your behavior, by all means. Embrace remorse if you hurt someone’s feelings. But know that all of us make mistakes and only good people feel bad when they behave badly.
8. Stop doing things that hurt you or others. Take Bob Newhart’s famous advice. Stop smoking, eating, drinking, or shopping so much. Stop destroying your health or taking advantage of others. “Just Say No” to gossiping, lying, or anything else that makes you feel small.
9. If you feel strongly about something, it IS a big deal. Just because it doesn’t look like a big deal on paper doesn’t mean it’s not important. If your emotions are stirred, your heart has spoken; it is a big deal, and don’t let anyone tell you it isn’t.
10. Don’t ask for permission to live your life. You’re an adult. You know right from wrong. You’ve earned the right to do what you want without asking if it’s okay. Think like a country: take responsibility and make your own decisions.
If these make sense to you, and you’d like to help someone else feel good today, you can tweet this article.
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