Never forget your own power. No matter what you have been taught, you are not powerless. Every second we shape the world around us when we smile at a stranger, and it brightens their dark thoughts. We change our personal little worlds when we accidentally break something cherished, and realize - oh, that was just a thing. The memory it had, and the person it represented, don't go away just because the thing is gone. One moment your world was full of loss, the next, you realized that nothing was really gone.
You choose whether your day will be good or not. Not the other people you encounter. Happiness and peace can be found under the most dire of straits - go and ask survivors. Go and watch a documentary or read an interview with someone who survived the Holocaust. Don't insult this beautiful universe, your incredible life, and your own personal power, by letting a traffic jam, or someone else's stupid, insensitive remark ruin your ability to be happy.
Family is important. We're "stuck" with each other for a reason, but family can never be your scapegoat, nor can you let them use you similarly. We are our own people, and blood doesn't trump that. If your family has hurt you, then that's rough, but it is what it is. Endeavor to understand them, try to make it right, but if your efforts are wasted, then walk away. Believe it or not, there are more important things than fighting losing battles.
And I've said it before, I'll say it again, and I hope you see this ten billion more times until you understand:
NO ONE IS RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR HAPPINESS, BUT YOU.
YOU ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ANYONE ELSE'S HAPPINESS, BUT YOUR OWN.
In many ways, we are our own worst enemies in love and friendships. Even when we recognize that something or someone is unhealthy, we wrap it up in a pretty bow and continue to call it our own.
Let. It. Go. Please. You don't need to convince yourself that a shitty gift is worth keeping, because every time you look at it you're going to know and think, deep down, it doesn't belong. Throw it out. Keep only positive people, things, and thoughts in your life. You are the only person that makes that call though. Don't expect someone else to sweep into your life and start taking out the trash.
Alright. Yes, we need money to survive, that's how the world works, but unless you're homeless while you're reading this, then somehow you have always survived. Somehow you're still here. Trust that you can make do with less. Trust that you're smart enough, creative enough, to make it work. When you focus on lack, then that's all you'll see around you.
When you choose instead to focus on how good it is to have that fancy cup of coffee in front of you, even though you haven't treated yourself to it in ages, then that gratitude becomes infectious. You'll be happy that it's not -18 degrees outside, it's only 27 degrees, because that's damn toasty in comparison. You'll be happy that you have a friend that's treating you to dinner later in the month. You'll be happy that someone brought in extra snacks to work and left them on the break table and you got some chocolate before it was all snatched up.
Enjoy every second of what it is you already have.
And work hard. Create. It doesn't matter if you're doing it so that you can afford a house, buy your kid new clothes, end hunger, or write a book that might entertain only a handful of people. Work hard. Everything is within your reach, and if you're aiming for a yacht, but you get a canoe - then enjoy the hell out of that canoe. And keep working on the yacht.
In some ways, we are what we leave behind, so don't forget the intangibles. Leave people with good memories, full bellies, and lighter hearts. The world needs more of that.