L ove yourself. You can't love anyone else until you accept all of you.
Be confident in who you are. Embrace your strengths and weaknesses. There's a time and place for both. Apply them cautiously.
You originate your happiness, and it's maintained solely by you. No one else can take it nor give it to you. Consciously choose to find the good in each moment and believe you can make the next one better.
Be aware of what you're saying about others. Know that anyone who is talking badly about someone else, will talk badly about you in front of someone else.
Don't take your gifts for granted. Don't dismiss the courage or effort it took someone else to do something just because it comes simply to you.
Be careful not to alienate the world around you out of the need to be right. You can learn something from everyone's story. Listen with an open mind.
Life will break you down. Never let the events that happened to you strip you of your ability to love, live and laugh.
Don't let the glitter of the metaphorical fairy tale ruin the life in front of you. People are inclined to tell you the good about their life and withhold the bad.
Everyone suffers in some way behind closed doors. Don't try to re-create someone else's life because you think it's better than yours.
A failed relationship is not a measure of you as a human. You can learn from every relationship. Each one serves a stepping stone towards building you into a better person. If someone doesn't like you, it doesn't mean there is something wrong with you.
One day, you will meet a person who adores and treasures every trait about you.
Be careful of who you allow in your life. Give second chances, but identify those who continuously hurt you. Some people you love will extricate themselves from your life. Some you will need to release.
Let them go.
There's strength and courage in believing at 20 that you know how you will handle every hurdle placed before you. But, I promise you, when you're presented with a dilemma, you won't always take your own advice.
Don't let your own mind debilitate you. Your thoughts will be your source of guidance, and if you think too much or think negatively, you won't go far.
You will project your innermost insecurities and pain into the world. So when you judge others, hate others, make fun of others, know that has more to do with you than anyone else.
You won't always understand why some things don't work out or fall apart, but there will be a reason for every single thing that happens to you.
Live with compassion for others and concern for their feelings. Do it without sacrificing who you are and what you want.
Fight the urge to always be angry. If you spend too much time on what's wrong or what could be better, you will miss out on the current moment.
The sooner you realize these things, and life's other lessons, you will find a clarity and inner peace no one can shake.
I wish I could make you hear what I'm saying and tell you there was an easy way to do all of these things. But there is not. Each of you will take your own path, learn lessons at different times and grow at different rates.
There will come a day that you're a better person because of what you've gone through.
There also will come a day many years from now where every single word I've ever said, every lesson I've shared and every punishment I ever doled out will all make perfect sense.
Until that day, I am and always will be your biggest supporter. Because I know that I have given you enough love, support and resources to be able to make this life beautiful and worthwhile.
I believe in each of you.
You have my love unconditionally, always.
Heather Tempesta is a Brandon single mother of two sons, 17 and 10, and a daughter, 15.