Feeling lost, stuck in a rut or lacking motivation? You won't be after reading this touching letter written by a young woman with cancer. Holly Butcher, 27, died on Thursday after battling Ewing’s sarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer, and her rousing note of life advice has since gone viral.
Butcher, from Grafton, in New South Wales, Australia, said she never anticipated having to face her own mortality at just 26. "I always imagined myself growing old, wrinkled and grey – most likely caused by the beautiful family (lots of kiddies) I planned on building with the love of my life. I want that so bad it hurts," she wrote. "That’s the thing about life; It is fragile, precious and unpredictable and each day is a gift, not a given right."
The note, which has racked up 82,ooo shares and 113,000 reactions at the time of writing, has moved people around the world. In it, Butcher urges people to stop worrying about "the small, meaningless stresses in life and try to remember that we all have the same fate after it all, so do what you can to make your time feel worthy and great, minus the bullshit."
Here are some of her standout pieces of advice.
Let go of your minor problems
"You might have got caught in bad traffic today, or had a bad sleep because your beautiful babies kept you awake, or your hairdresser cut your hair too short. Your new fake nails might have got a chip, your boobs are too small, or you have cellulite on your arse and your belly is wobbling.
"Let all that shit go. I swear you will not be thinking of those things when it is your turn to go. It is all SO insignificant when you look at life as a whole."
Be grateful for your physical health
"I hear people complaining about how terrible work is or about how hard it is to exercise. Be grateful you are physically able to. Work and exercise may seem like such trivial things... until your body doesn’t allow you to do either of them.
"I tried to live a healthy life, in fact, that was probably my major passion. Appreciate your good health and functioning body – even if it isn’t your ideal size. Look after it and embrace how amazing it is. Move it and nourish it with fresh food. Don’t obsess over it."
Be "ruthless" about your mental wellbeing
"Work just as hard on finding your mental, emotional and spiritual happiness, too. That way you might realise just how insignificant and unimportant having this stupidly portrayed perfect social media body really is.
"While on this topic, delete any account that pops up on your news feeds that gives you any sense of feeling shit about yourself. Friend or not. Be ruthless for your own wellbeing."
"Give, give, give. It is true that you gain more happiness doing things for others than doing them for yourself. I wish I did this more. Since I have been sick, I have met the most incredibly giving and kind people and been the receiver of the most thoughtful and loving words and support from my family, friends and strangers; More than I could ever give in return. I will never forget this and will be forever grateful to all of these people."
Spend money on experiences
"It is a weird thing having money to spend at the end when you’re dying. It’s not a time you go out and buy material things that you usually would, like a new dress. It makes you think how silly it is that we think it is worth spending so much money on new clothes and ‘things’ in our lives. Buy your friend something kind instead of another dress, beauty product or jewellery for that next wedding."
She continued: "Use your money on experiences.. Or at least don’t miss out on experiences because you spent all your money on material shit. Put in the effort to do that day trip to the beach you keep putting off. Dip your feet in the water and dig your toes in the sand. Wet your face with salt water."
Live in the moment
"Try just enjoying and being in moments rather than capturing them through the screen of your phone. Life isn’t meant to be lived through a screen nor is it about getting the perfect photo.. enjoy the bloody moment, people! Stop trying to capture it for everyone else."
Lead the life you want
"Say no to things you really don’t want to do. Don’t feel pressured to do what other people might think is a fulfilling life. You might want a mediocre life and that is so okay."
She added: "If something is making you miserable, you do have the power to change it - in work or love or whatever it may be. Have the guts to change. You don’t know how much time you’ve got on this earth so don’t waste it being miserable. I know that is said all the time but it couldn’t be more true."
"If you can, do a good deed for humanity (and myself) and start regularly donating blood. It will make you feel good with the added bonus of saving lives. I feel like it is something that is so overlooked considering every donation can save three lives! That is a massive impact each person can have and the process really is so simple."
Without donated blood, Butcher said she wouldn't have survived the final year of her life, "a year I will be forever grateful that I got to spend it here on Earth with my family, friends and dog. A year I had some of the greatest times of my life." May she rest in peace.
Read These Next