One of the things that has helped shape me is 'Desiderata' (I've put a copy below). My sister was given a poster of that when she was an early teenager. I am four years younger than her and we shared a bedroom. She had the poster on the wardrobe door and I read it many, many times. Every day I would add a new sentence to what I had already memorized and I would say it over in my mind during the long walk to and from the school bus. When she moved out, I got my own copy which has traveled with me in all of my moves around Australia and the world. It's still relevant. I find myself pondering the line: "Take kindly to the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth."
In that spirit, I claim:
as some of my most valued lessons, deeply learned and integrated. I claim them from all of the challenges and bruises and highlights that it took to earn them during my youth. I now own them and they will not be surrendered. Only all of the fears and insecurities and confusion will be released. They may just look like words, but they mean much more than that to me. Who knew? Growing older can come with such a beautiful Peace. Growing into one's true self. Not needing to prove anything to anyone. Not needing to feel guilty. My body may not look and act like it did years ago, but the trade for inner Peace is definitely worth it to me.
So grateful for every single breath and step along this path!
Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant, they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism. Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love, for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is perennial as the grass.
Take kindly to the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.