Maybe it’s because my birthday is so close to New Year’s Day, only a week after the calendar year changes. Whenever my birthday comes around, I like to take some time during the day to reflect on my location on my life’s journey and make plans to get my next destination. Now that I’m officially in my thirties, I feel a sense of firmness on the ground on which I stand. I’m quite sure about who I am and what I want. I can’t pinpoint the moment when I relaxed into my skin and cuddled my own heart so tightly but I am sure glad that I did.
Today I think about all the things that I wish that I knew and understood 5 – 10 years ago. I have no regrets, the lessons that I’ve learned shaped me into the person who I am today. But there are a few things that I wish I knew. Things that I would like to share and hopefully these are lessons that my children would appreciate learning from me.
Always listen to your heart and let it guide you.
I made so many decisions based on hard facts, statistics and research findings because I was always afraid to make a mistake. I blame the availability of the internet, at any moment I could “research” anything and as a result I’ve found some information that deterred major life decisions. It’s come at great costs; I’ve missed out on many opportunities that had the potential to change my life.
Never allow fear to stagnate your growth.
Throughout my twenties I was ruled by fear; fear of failure, fear of change and fear of the unknown. It’s really only been in the last two years that I’ve realized that my fears were a major barrier for me and made the decision to get past them. How did I overcome them? I created more spiritual balance and spent a lot time reconnecting with my soul. There were points where I felt like I had run into an old friend. I started to reminisce about dreams that I neglected and soon felt energized again. I gained clarity and understood that my fears were responsible for me not fulfilling my life’s purpose.
Make every decision independently.
Some of the worst decisions that I made were because I listened to advice and took it from the wrong people. I’m happy to have learned this lesson. Now that I make all my decisions independently, I feel emancipated. I ensure that I dedicate time to quietly deliberate and listen to God’s guidance.
Live in the moment.
I struggle with constantly looking forward to the future and holding onto the past. The present moment? I have a hard time sinking into. I’ve become better but I have a long way to go. My children devoid of life experiences are always in the moment. That allows them to truly bask in all of life greatness. When I play with them I follow their lead and I enjoy their company and their influence into not thinking about anything else.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
I’ve had a very hard time asking for and accepting help. I remember one of Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday shows where they discussed the inability to ask for help. The guest (I can’t recall who it was) said that if you judge other people harshly when they ask you for help. You’ll judge yourself harshly when you need to ask for help. I don’t judge others harshly, I love been able to help and over the years I’ve developed an admiration for people who are brave enough make themselves vulnerable by asking. I think that this is one of the areas that fear stifles me because I still have that fear that I would appear weak and dependent.
Put God above everything.
I’ve always had a relationship with God but I had moments where I questioned his existence or strayed. In the last few years my faith has been strengthened and I feel much more confident about my life. He’s my safety net and because of that I’m not scared to face tough challenges.
Believe in your dreams.
My dreams have always been clear to me but I’ve had a hard time consistently believing in them. I used to fight myself to create more “realistic” dreams or “safer” dreams. Now, I’ve accepted that I will never really live my life fully if I don’t embrace the dreams that have been put in my heart for a reason.
Persistence pays off.
I used to run at the first bell. If I started a project and I got any indication of trouble I would discontinue immediately. As a result, I ended up with a trail of unfinished projects and “what-ifs”. I’m now adamant to finish anything that I start. When I hit roadblocks or challenges I slow down and let my creativity take control.
Trust in God’s Timing.
I used to allow perceived disappointments to frustrate me. I believe that my emotional maturity allows me to accept that things don’t always happen in the time slot that I allocate but that doesn’t mean it’s not going to happen. I’ve learned not to fight too hard to get it done when I get disappointed but to accept that the time is just not right. I think having two kids helped me with this. During both of my pregnancies, I convinced myself that I would give birth between 37-38 weeks. Both of my kids were born past their due date. Those last few weeks were difficult but I learned that no matter how many plans I made, I just had to wait. That’s how everything else in life works.
What are some of the lessons that you’ve learned that you would like to share with your younger self, children or younger loved ones? Please share.