Nowhere is it written that you have to have it all figured out by the time you are 32 ¾ years old. Nowhere. A patient of mine asked me the other day – “Dr. Chris – did you find your 20’s hard?”. My response:
“Yes! Yes, I certainly did.”
With many of my patients, I can relate to the common experience we call “life”. The challenges. The struggles. The diagnoses. The labels. To many, it can seem like a burden – to graduate from high school with all the anticipation, excitement and trepidation about the future. When I was in my late teens/early 20’s, I used to cringe when people would ask me “What are you going to do with the rest of your life?”
My advice to my patients is to move forward with flexibility. Expand your awareness. Be responsible. Travel. Don’t sell out your passion in life for profits. Don’t get caught up in “keeping up with the Jones”. Don’t compare yourself to others. Listen to the drumbeat of your own heart. Take the road less travelled – see where it leads. And if you haven’t read M. Scott Peck’s book titled “The Road Less Travelled: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth”, then maybe add that to your Christmas wish list.
In your 20’s, you aren’t fully developed – your brain continues to develop until you are 25 years of age (which is why using drugs, marijuana and drinking too much alcohol is troublesome and why I am equally perplexed that the legal drinking ages are well below that age). When I was that age, I didn’t know who I was, what I stood for, what political party to align with, what all my values were or what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. I put so much pressure on myself to achieve, to live up to my potential – both athletic and academic – and to not waste my time. I was serious about life and I made my life very serious. While I had fun moments, I was surrounded by a cloud of seriousness at too young of an age. Over time, this cloud engulfed me in depression and anxiety. While navigating the waters of university, it got even darker for me with the diagnosis of bipolar disorder type 1. So, yes, I can relate to the 20’s being tough.
I am honoured each day to guide people to mental freedom; to health; to help them trust their intuition; to discover their own values and guiding life principles – so that they can become their own best doctors. When you feel like you haven’t arrived yet, I love to share the story I heard Louise Hay say at a conference I attended in 2010. I have admired her for years and decided to learn about writing a book and sharing my story from Reid Tracey, CEO of Hay House and Cheryl Richardson, author of many self-help books. On the first day of the course, I was shocked to see Louise standing at the door greeting all the attendees. She gave me a warm, welcoming smile, and shook my hand as I extended it to her. I was so delighted, surprised and excited that she was there as I wasn’t expecting her to be, let alone to see her greeting all the conference attendees. During the conference, she spoke and said “Put your hand up if you feel like it is too late, your ship has sailed, your time has past.” I raised my hand. She then said, “put your hand down if you are under the age of 64.” I put my hand down – at that time, I was 43 years old – and most of then hands in the room went down. She then went on to say “I didn’t start Hay House until I was 64 and now I am in my 84th year and this is my best decade and year yet! Let me serve as an inspiration to you that it is never too late to start.”
And so I did. I began. I started writing my book. It took me seven more years to finish, mostly because I had to get over my fears of “coming out” about being bipolar, but Louise served as a teacher to me. I have kept putting one foot in front of the other because of her. While I understand that people can’t live forever, I was deeply saddened with the passing of Louise Hay on Aug 30, 2017 the same day that another beloved Hay House author had passed away – Dr. Wayne Dyer – exactly two years ago.
I want you to start. Just where you are. Take one step. Move in the direction of health, of loving yourself, of letting go of what no longer serves you. And tomorrow, take another step. You’ve got this – and God’s got you!
To schedule an appointment with Dr. Chris, please call 587-521-3595. If you would like Dr. Chris to speak to your organization, group, club or at an event, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org