1. Life doesn’t owe you anything nor is it fair: And pretty much all we can do is deal with it! I’ll admit, I went through a period in my life where it was all about me and I always wanted things my way. If things didn’t happen the way I wanted, I would sometimes find a way to manipulate situations so they fit my vision or I’d have full blown tantrums (even adult ones). As I grew in my 30’s I began to understand that life was not all about me and there were other people with needs and desires and all I was doing was alienating people I wanted relationships with through my selfishness. As I matured and slowly began to shed the mentality of a spoiled only child and embraced the fact that the world did not orbit around me. This year I extended that learning to embrace the fact that life, no matter how much I may want it to be, is not always quite fair but that doesn’t have to hinder my progress and most of the time that fact only adds to my growth. Speaking as a child of God I know that it is through Gods unlimited grace that I am where and who I am, but I realized I had to stop worrying about the fairness of my past and push forward from where I stood, after I have been extremely blessed. But there will always things in life we seem to be unfair, for instance I wondered if my choices in men would have been different had I not experienced some of the things I did and one of the biggest things for me has been that I would look at people born and raised in the church and see how mature they were in Christ already, and I envied that. I would sometimes get upset because I felt like I had to play catch up a lot later in life and honestly that kept me stagnant. But I had to realize that people are born everyday in the most unsavory of situations and still they rise, these people have embraced the fact that although their situations weren’t perfect or ‘fair’ they still didn’t wait for life to hand them anything, no matter what age they ‘woke up’. If you have goals for the year ahead, don’t dwell on your past, don’t think about envy someone else’s achievements and go grab your own.
2. You will always have waver worthy moments: and there may be times your faith wavers because of them. There may be times you fail or don’t feel like moving forward and it is okay. Even my pastors wife, who I see as a strong woman of God has discussed having a waver worthy moment when she was diagnosedwith breast cancer. Life isn’t a smoothly paved road it’s an obstacle course full of hills and sometimes mountains. It’s only natural to want the easy way out of growth, until we realize there is no easy way. In these moments when you choose to face the fire rather than run you may shake and grow fearful but the important thing is to remember the foundation you are built upon and always return to that truth.
3. You need people to help you grow: Even the ones you don’t like! Some will call them our soul mates or life teachers, but they are people that will push your boundaries of growth. They can be best friends, family members, coworkers, strangers on the street, but they ultimately push us to grow and change.
4. Sometimes life just works out: Without your help. And many times better than we expected if we just let go of the reigns. All the worrying and stressing over small things can and if done enough will make you sick. In times where I was able to trust and let life work itself out I’ve usually gotten the absolute best results.
5. We are not robots: Obviously! and with our lack of steel, cold exteriors and programmable feelings comes emotions and for a long time I was fearful of expressing my feelings. For whatever reason I was ashamed of my sadness and held in expressing joy at times when I wanted to do cartwheels. I hid who I was for fear of judgement. Until recently I’ve learned that life is an emotional roller coaster. There is nothing wrong with expressing sadness, anger or joy for that matter if it’s done in a healthy way and you don’t have to feel guilty, ashamed or bad for doing so.
6. Life sends you wake up calls: Sometimes we must answer even when we want to send it to voicemail! My father is one of the most gentle, kind hearted souls I have met on this life journey. He has always been there for me without fail and seeing him age over the years I grew fearful of the day that he wouldn’t be. When he was given a diagnosis this year that pretty much shook my families foundation it was somewhat of a wake up call for us all. Sometimes the tragedies in life are what brings us closer. Everyone deals with pain differently, so attempting to get someone else to hurt like you will never happen, but expressing how much that person means to you in the midst of dealing with pain is pretty much all you can do. As my mom tells me, we have to love each other while we are here & although I knew this going into 2015, I can’t say that I’ve always put it into action.
7. Achieving inner peace and emotional stability is simple: But one of the most difficult things you may do in life! When the world around us is pulling on our emotional heart strings it can be difficult to not lose it and be manipulated by events into overreacting, losing your cool or just turning into a blubbering mass of human-ness. We have emotions, there is nothing we can do about that, nothing. The journey to emotional maturity looks different for everyone, but the benefit is the knowing that you will be all right, the understanding that this too shall pass and the ultimate benefit of true inner peace. Once things that go on around you aren’t able to affect you at a core level, or at least take you into an emotional tail spin you are at peace with uncertain endings and can breath easy. It’s a simple concept, once you understand and begin to practice it, but the ‘getting there’ and ultimately ‘staying there’ takes effort, consistency and sometimes a lifetime.
God Bless & Happy 2016!